Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing: Whats the Difference?


What is Cleaning?

Cleaning is the process of removing soil and debris from the surface of an object. You typically clean your home or clean pet areas. House cleaning or office cleaning may include using brooms, vacuums, and mops, or it may include scrubbing the tiles with hot soapy water. Cleaning removes the surface grime but does not kill bacteria and other pathogens that may lurk in your home or office. Cleaning makes the area look good and may even leave a sparkling shine behind, but that doesn't mean the area is germ-free.

What is Disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the process of killing germs on exposed surfaces with chemical disinfectants. While some household cleaners are also disinfectants, you typically need to clean the area before applying disinfectant. In the home and office setting, sweeping, vacuuming, washing down counters and desks and removing any visible dirt and grime is generally done before disinfecting the area. For example, you may scrub down the shower tiles and rinse away the grime before spraying them down with disinfectant. Likewise, offices should be thoroughly cleaned before they are disinfected. A professional cleaning company can clean and disinfect your home or office to prevent the spread of the flu or colds during the winter. According to government standards, a disinfectant must kill all living organisms (germs) within 10 minutes.

Sanitizers Must Kill 99.999 percent of Living Organisms Within 30 Seconds

What is Sanitizing?

According to the U.S. government, sanitizers must kill 99.999 percent of living organisms within 30 seconds. That means sanitizers work quickly and are ideal for use on the hands when soap and water are not available or for cleaning phones, keyboards and other office equipment to prevent the spread of germs. Sanitizers are also used in food preparation areas, in kitchens and in the nursery. Sanitizers can also be used to clean children's toys, countertops and areas where hand contact is common.

Which One Do You Need?

Under normal circumstances, cleaning your home or office with traditional cleaners and water keeps it looking good and removes the surface soil that results from everyday activities. Sometimes, however, you may want to go the extra mile and disinfect or sanitize some areas of your home or business. Hiring a professional cleaning service to clean, disinfect and sanitize your home or office during flu season or when a family member (or employee) has a weakened immune system or suffers from illness will go a long way toward preventing the spread of germs and viruses.

Call a professional cleaning service to find out more about how they can clean and disinfect your home or office and leave it sparkling clean.