Clean, Sanitize, Disinfect:Guide

How often do you clean your house? The term “cleaning” can be vague as it can be defined in many ways depending on who says it and what it is done for. Cleaning is essential to keep our environment pleasing to the eyes and for everyone in the area to work more conveniently and safely. 

Cleaning has become more necessary than ever before, and new emphasis has been placed on sanitizing and disinfecting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set distinct definitions of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting to guide the public and professional cleaning services companies on when each should be done. 

What Is Cleaning?

Cleaning is usually done to achieve a better look. It involves the removal of visible dirt, dust, and debris from surfaces. Organization of all surfaces and cabinets is also done to ensure that the place is more conducive to working and moving around. 

Cleaning entails the use of soap or detergent dissolved in water to remove tough dirt build-up on corners and surfaces. It also aims to eliminate germs through scrubbing and applying thermal methods. Keep in mind that cleaning does not entirely remove all germs, but it helps in reducing their numbers and preventing further spread. 

Cleaning should be done more regularly than sanitizing and disinfecting. In a house, cleaning must be done daily, weekly, and monthly, depending on the nature and use of a specific room. Regular cleaning will maintain the orderliness of your home, prevent illnesses, keep pests at bay, and protect your furniture. If you don’t have time for it, you may hire a professional whole-house cleaning service to tackle the task on your behalf.

What Is Sanitizing?

Sanitizing cannot kill all bacteria, viruses, and fungi present on surfaces, but it aims to reduce their numbers significantly. As suggested by medical health experts, people that go outside and interact with others use alcohol or sanitizers to clean their hands. Sanitation is also required within food production companies to prevent foodborne microorganisms that cause food poisoning. 

Sanitation must be done for health and hygiene purposes, particularly now that it is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Like cleaning, it should be done more regularly these days, especially for high-touch objects such as doorknobs, countertops, bed linens, handles, and other surfaces. 

What Is Disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the most effective way to kill harmful organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. It entails the use of chemicals to kill germs, viruses, and fungi and prevent them from spreading. UV light is used to break down the DNA of these contaminants before they can enter the human body. Deep cleaning services also use fogging to disinfect porous materials that cannot be wiped with chemicals.  

Compared to cleaning, disinfecting cannot remove visible dirt on surfaces but removes the invisible enemy. If someone in your household is ill, disinfecting should be done diligently to prevent compromising your loved ones’ health. However, be careful when using certain cleaning agents. Reading their components and following the proper instructions is vital to achieving the desired protection without doing harm. 


Cleaning can be defined in many different ways, but we should note that it is not the same as disinfecting and sanitizing. Each has its distinct definition and purpose. Keep in mind that despite the differences, all must be done in support of each other to gain maximum protection against bacteria and viruses. 

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