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The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, And Disinfecting

Janitorial cleaning phone

Germs are found literally everywhere, from your TV remote to office laptop to anything and everything you come in contact with, including our soil, air, water, skin, and other objects and surfaces. While some particular types of germs may be helpful, most bacterium is harmful and may cause severe illnesses.

The devastating global health crisis has taught us that germs and viruses can spread quickly and cause unimaginable distress. While experts suggest washing hands frequently, it’s rather difficult to sanitize hands each time you touch an object or a surface.

However, there’s a lot of confusion that surrounds different cleaning methods. People often tend to use the terms disinfecting, cleaning, and sanitizing interchangeably, but there are many distinct differences between them. Here’s all you need to know.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, Sanitizing: A Brief Overview


Cleaning involves removing any visible dust, debris, or dirt from surfaces. Typically performed with detergent, solvent, or soap and a microfiber cloth, cleaning isn’t enough to thoroughly kill or remove bacteria or germs from the surfaces. But cleaning is a crucial step that enhances the effectiveness of each method. While it may not help get rid of all germs, it surely helps to reduce them.


Containing relatively lesser harsh chemicals than disinfectants, sanitizers are usually used to clean food contact surfaces. The process is similar to cleaning and involves mitigating the risk of illness spread by reducing the number of germs that may linger on surfaces.

From using antibacterial wipes to sanitize objects such as door handles, TV remote, and more, to using proper protocol procedures when getting rid of dirt, debris, and dirt while floor cleaning in schools or commercial spaces, sanitizing is more effective than simple cleaning.

Disinfecting surface


This involves the use of disinfectants and chemicals to kill all bacteria and germs that loiter on surfaces and objects. Alcohol and bleach solutions are one of the most widely used disinfectants. The process involves leaving the disinfectant on the surface for a particular time period so that it can help inactivate any germs cohabitating around you.

While disinfecting is considered one of the most reliable ways to kill or inactivate bacteria and viruses, make sure that the disinfectant you’re using is EPA-approved and free from harmful and hazardous toxins.

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that using the right products alone won’t equate to achieving the results you desire. The right preparation and dilution plus appropriate equipment are equally necessary.

Is all the information making you feel like your home or workplace needs a thorough cleaning by a professional janitorial service? Experts at Extra Hands Services offer comprehensive cleaning solutions along with guaranteed quality assurance.

Our team is well-equipped to provide a wide range of services, including manufacturing cleaning, medical facility cleaning, industrial cleaning, distribution cleaning, warehouse cleaning, upholstery cleaning, carpet cleaning, window and building cleaning, and more Kansas City.

Reach out to us today at 816-994-8825 to schedule a free consultation and book our basic one-day janitorial service or round-the-clock full-suit commercial cleaning services in Kansas City.



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