Disinfecting, Cleaning And Sanitizing-Differences

Disinfecting, Cleaning And Sanitizing-Differences

Disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning are the most common terms everyone is hearing constantly since the onset of covid-19. These three terms can often interchange. But the truth is these terms have different meanings from each other. If you want to disinfect your place, you can tell the cleaning services to sanitize the place. It is a completely different process. Therefore, knowing the difference between the three is essential.


The definition of disinfection is the elimination of pathogens and disease-causing microorganisms. Except, it does not eliminate the bacterial spores. In simple words, disinfecting is killing the germs present. Also, you can define disinfecting as a surface that means that chemicals are to kill germs. Moreover, disinfecting does not mean that dirt and impurities are being removed from the surface. But killing the germs lowers the risk of spreading infection. Unlike sanitization, disinfectant needs to be left on the surface for some time. For instance, many disinfectants have 10 minutes as the appropriate dwell time. However, do not forget to read instructions on the chemical product. Since different companies have different processes and different dwell times. Also, this ensures proper disinfection through the product. Common disinfectants are bleach and alcohol.


Sanitization is the reduction of bacteria to safe levels to decrease the risk of infection. It may kill the viruses present. Sanitizing, in simple words, means reducing germs. It is a step beyond cleaning. Moreover, sanitization kills a greater number of bacteria. The CDC defines a sanitizer as “a chemical that kills 99.999% of the specific test bacteria in 30 seconds under the conditions of the test. But it is also true that sanitization techniques and products alone cannot eliminate all viruses. Sanitizing is done by either cleaning, disinfecting, or both. These safe levels are set by public health standards. These safe levels can also be set according to the requirements at a workplace, school, etc.

For instance, there are sanitizing procedures for restaurants and other facilities that prepare food. But the procedure of sanitization will differ according to your needs. You can mop the floor using a mop with chemicals and water. Also, you can use a dishwasher to sanitize the dishes. Common sanitizers are bleach, iodine, and alcohol.


Cleaning is the removal of visible soil, debris, microorganisms, and organic substances from surfaces. But it will not eliminate germs. The number of germs reduces by removing some contaminated matter. In simple words, cleaning is the removal of germs. Also, an elementary definition of cleaning is a process to remove dirt, allergens, and microorganisms from a surface. It is usually done with a cloth or wipe with a detergent, soap, or solvent. It does not necessarily kill any germs. Since cleaning helps reduce the number of germs that can lead to infection. Cleaning is the first step in the cleaning process.

But it can not be skipped. Since it is a vital step. Sanitizing or disinfecting the area is the after step in the whole process. Since, cleaning the visible dirt, dust, fingerprints, and other marks makes it easier and effective to remove microscopic germs with more intensive methods later. Cleaning products are soap and laundry detergents.



It is very important to know the difference between the three. More importantly to follow all the correct methods, from cleaning to sanitizing and disinfecting the place. If you follow all the steps correctly you will have a cleaner and healthier environment. Moreover, it will lead to a healthier and happier being.


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