Home disinfection: Everything you need to know

Home disinfection: Everything you need to know

The coexistence of man and micro-organisms is intertwined with life. Microorganisms exist in the environment, in the air, in water, in food, and in our bodies. Several of them are harmless, many are useful, and few pose an ongoing, potential threat to humans. However, the presence of microbes in the environment, even those considered harmless, constitutes a constant, real, risk for the development of an infection.

Spores are a resistant cell form, which is formed by bacteria, fungi, etc., in order to withstand extreme conditions (heat, cold, lack of water).

Spores can remain viable for decades. They are dehydrated cells with resistant walls and low metabolic rates, and when environmental conditions become favorable again, they "sprout" giving each a microbe.

Sterilization is done by a series of methods, such as:

-Dry heat - Special furnaces with hot air

-Liquid heat - Special furnaces with steam under pressure

-Using ionizing radiation

Sterilization is an absolute and not a relative concept, i.e. something cannot be partially sterile.


Decontamination is the use of physical, chemical or other means to remove, inactivate or destroy harmful microorganisms, poisonous or radioactive chemicals from people, places, surfaces or objects.

Disinfection differs from sterilization in that it renders a person or object largely, but not completely, free of infectious agents.

Decontamination of people who have been exposed to hazardous materials must be done in a methodical manner. First the tools and outer gloves are removed. Surface contaminants are then removed either by blowing or washing. Any respiratory support, protective equipment and clothing are then removed by careful washing and drying of the skin. Finally, the exposed person must be medically monitored according to onmed.gr until it is deemed safe. Disinfection does not destroy the spores. Applies to instruments and devices.

Both terms refer to tools or devices, not living tissues. When disinfecting living tissues, the correct term is to use the term antisepsis.

We clean and disinfect

The first thing to know is that cleanliness and disinfection are two different things. Health authorities recommend doing both.

We focus on high-touch surfaces

High-touch surfaces for daily cleaning and disinfection:

Knobs & handles
Table surfaces, refrigerator, etc.
Hard dining chairs (seat, back and arms)
Kitchen counters
Bathroom tiles & surfaces
Toilets (seat and handle)
TV & video game remotes

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