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Cleaning and Disinfection glossary of Terms

This glossary provides definitions of a number of important terms associated with cleaning industry and their environmental impacts, including definitions of specific pollutants, technologies, and the key terms related to the cleaning marketplace.

Use the list above to find your glossary term. Each letter corresponds to the first letter of each glossary term.

A material with pH below neutral (7.0). A strong acid may be used for the de-scaling operations whilst weaker acids can be used for etching surfaces.

Synthetic materials derived from organic acid. Used in emulsion seals and polishes.

This refers to the strength or concentration of a material, for example neutral washing up liquid type products. The higher the activity the more concentrated the product.

Free from bacteria.

A black, bituminous floor surface which, falls into the porous floor category.

Apparatus for sterilisation by steam.

Abrasion is the wearing away of a solid surface film by friction. For example, an abrasive hand pad can sometimes be used to remove stubborn marks from hard surfaces. It is important to use an abrasive material that will not damage the washroom surface being cleaned.

Abrasive cleaners are products that clean through abrasive or scouring action. An example is a liquid cleanser with fine abrasives used to help break soils away from porcelain surfaces.

Absorption is a process in which one substance absorbs another substance onto or into its surface. For instance, a cotton cloth or wiper can absorb sticky soils and liquids transferring the soils from the washroom surface to the cotton cloth.

Adhesion is a molecular attraction that holds the surfaces of two substances in contact. For example, sticky soils adhere or stick to the hard surfaces found in washrooms. Adhesion makes cleaning difficult. The adhesion of the soil to surface must be broken to completely remove the sticky soil.

Air vent covers are fixtures that cover and protect air vents. They collect dirt and soils. Regular cleaning and/or vacuuming of these covers is important to reduce air particles caused when air currents transport these particles throughout the bathroom.

Antimicrobials are substances that limit or prevent the growth of microorganisms. See Disinfectants.

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