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What is the difference between cleaning and disinfection?

Written by Dirk Timmers  |  Last update 15-02-2020

Cleaning and disinfection are of great importance for hygienic cultivation. It’s the only way to prevent diseases, bacteria and pests, and to prevent infection of crops. Cleaning and disinfection are therefore necessary parts for crop and production quality. 

What is cleaning?

Cleaning is the removal of dirt such as dust, dirt or grease. For this you use a cleaning agent. Cleaning does not kill microorganisms.

What is disinfection?

Disinfection is killing, inactivating or removing pathogenic organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. By combating the microorganisms, they cannot spread further. Disinfection should be done immediately after cleaning a surface. 

First cleaning, then disinfecting

For optimal hygiene, ensure you first clean the material or surface to be cleaned with a cleaning product. This will remove dirt and grease. By removing this dirt and grease layer, you can properly reach the bacteria, molds and germs that are found underneath with the disinfection product. The second step is disinfecting. You can remove stubborn bacteria, molds and germs with a disinfecting product. A cleaning product will not do this. A surface may look clean after using a cleaning product, but it isn’t always so!

Decision aid

To choose the appropriate cleaning or disinfecting product you can utilize the decision aid. Decide if you are cleaning or disinfecting and click to view the various cleaning and disinfecting products.


Organic dirt
Algae and bacteria

Menno Hortisept Clean Plus
Menno ter Forte


Organic dirt
Algae and bacteria

Menno Hortisept Clean
Menno ter Forte


Water disinfection
water disinfection


Bacteria, molds, viruses
and viroids
Algae and bacteria

Menno Florades

Menno ter Forte
Surface disinfection

Non foaming
Bacteria, molds, viruses
and viroids
Algae and bacteria

Menno Florades

Menno ter Forte
Without water
Enno Rapid  
 Hand disinfection     
  With water
Menno H  

*Use the Menno disinfection sprayer or the Mobile cleaning unit V1K for application with foam.


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Questions regarding cleaning and disinfection

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Specialist HortiHygienz Dirk TimmersAbout Dirk Timmers

Dirk Timmers is product specialist HortiHygienz at Royal Brinkman. Due to the increasing demand for hygiene measures in horticulture, not a day has the same outcome. 'The great thing about my job is the diversity. One day you're in the greenhouse, the next day you're in the office together to develop a solution for the customer.'




The total solution for hygiene issues in horticulture

We believe that growers worldwide can maximize the yield of their crops with optimum hygiene. HortiHygienz can be used worldwide as a total solution for operational hygiene. Whatever the question or challenge in the area of operational hygiene, HortiHygienz has the solution for you!

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