Cleaning Versus Disinfecting

In everyday usage, terms like cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing, and washing tend to get mashed together and used as synonyms. There are, however, some important differences between these terms as each refers to a different end goal. What might some of these differences look like, and why are they important to you?

Cleaning Terms

Cleaning is the most broadly used, and is often used as an umbrella term. In a general sense, cleaning simply refers to the process of removing dirt or impurities from a surface or object. Although this seems fairly self-explanatory, there are some important distinctions. Cleaning is not necessarily the same thing as disinfecting, which refers to the process of killing bacteria and other disease-transmitting vectors. Usually, soap and water is sufficient if you’re looking to clean while bactericidal products may be required to properly disinfect surfaces. Moreover, when you disinfect something you aren’t necessarily also removing dirt or impurities.

For example, you may “clean up” after an event, which usually refers to the process of wiping crumbs or grime off counters and ensuring things are put back where they belong. This has no effect on the level of germs in the space. In addition to cleaning, you may also wish to spray a disinfectant, which serves to kill bacteria and germs. The term sanitizing refers to reducing the overall number of bacteria and viruses to a safer level, as determined by public health standards. Keeping your environment sanitary means keeping the number of disease-causing particles low. This is again in contrast to sterilizing, which refers to the complete eradication of all microbes.

Meaning Behind the Word

Some cleaning companies may advertise their products and services in different ways. Many will perform both cleaning and disinfecting services simultaneously, although you may find some that specialize in certain tasks. In these cases, it can be beneficial to keep the distinction between these terms in mind so you can choose the company that will best help you reach your cleaning goals.

While terms like cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing have become interchangeable, they do mean different things in the professional cleaning world. Regency Cleaning is dedicated to providing you with high quality cleaning and sanitizing services. You can reach us by calling 403-520-7788 today!