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Cleaning Vs. Sanitizing Vs. Disinfecting

Comparing Cleaning Vs. Sanitizing Vs. Disinfecting

Today, we’ll be going over what’s different between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.

When getting a home or a business tidied up, there are three main ways to keep things hygienic: cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. While these terms all sound similar, there are a few distinctions between them, and it’s important to know the differences. Today, we’ll be going over what’s different between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.


Cleaning involves removing impurities such as germs from surfaces. Surfaces are able to be cleaned with the help of microfiber cloths and a cleaning agent. If you use the right cleaning agent and use the proper cleaning techniques, you can remove almost every germ from whatever surface you’re targeting.

Keep in mind that cleaning does NOT kill germs; it merely removes them from whatever surface you’ve cleaned. Germs that don’t get removed from surfaces will start to multiply and spread over time. Also, if you’re going to use a disinfectant, cleaning is especially important to get done before disinfecting. This is because the dirt found on surfaces will impede a disinfectant’s ability to do its job, so removing the dirt is a must.


Disinfecting, unlike cleaning, actually kills germs. You should use disinfectants on surfaces after you’ve cleaned them because they are unable to penetrate soils on top of surfaces, and cleaning does a great job at removing these soils.

Most disinfectants will have one of the following compounds in them: hypochlorite, peroxide, or quaternary ammonium chloride. All disinfectants have their upsides and downsides.

If you want a disinfectant to work, it has to be allowed to settle for a certain amount of time. The time you need will vary based on what germs you want to kill and what type of disinfectant you have. If a disinfectant can’t stay wet, it won’t be as efficient at killing germs.


During sanitization, almost all microorganisms are destroyed at the surface level. Relative to disinfectants, sanitizers don’t quite get as many kills on germs, and they don’t have as much contact time as disinfectants either. Usually, their contact time comes to around anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds. Sanitizers are advised for many areas, including gyms and food prep areas like restaurants.

Let Facility Site Contractors Help Your Business With Cleaning

Our management team is made up of experienced experts with knowledge of all aspects of construction and facilities. Facility Site Contractors has the capabilities to meet all of our clients’ critical infrastructure needs CONUS and OCONUS. We are committed to practicing sustainable principles to achieve the integrated benefits of environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Since founding in 1990, we have been employing sustainable practices in daily operations to reduce our resource burden on the environment and to ensure we have a positive impact on our clients.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 at 5:16 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.