Cleaning & Disinfecting

What’s The Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting?

Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting are imperative to keep germs and illness at bay. But it’s important to realize that each process has its role in destroying viruses and other pathogens. Even if you think surfaces are clean, you may not have properly sanitized or disinfected your surroundings. This means you leave yourself and those around you vulnerable to germs. Whether it’s at home or in a public facility, it’s a risk you don’t want to take.

In this post, we’ll define each method and show why each step is essential to create clean and safe environments. We’ll explain the basics of how to perform each step, whether you’re cleaning at home or in a public facility.

Where Are Germs Found?

Germs are a part of everyone’s day-to-day life. They exist in the air, water, and on pretty much any surface. The good thing is that most germs aren’t harmful to you. Your body knows how to protect itself against them. But some of them are more difficult. They evolve to find breaches in your immune system and make you sick.

Unfortunately, germs can be easily spread. They move through human contact and through the air. This includes when you cough or sneeze. Germs can live on surfaces, transferring to you when you come into contact with them. The best way to protect ourselves from germs that can make us sick is to eliminate as many as possible by cleaning and then sanitizing or disinfecting.


What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting?

Knowing the distinction between each method ensures that you properly handle lingering germs and viruses. So, first of all, what is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, or sanitizing and disinfecting?

  • Cleaning removes dust, debris and other soils from surfaces. It’s usually done with soap or detergent and hot water. This doesn’t necessarily remove the majority of germs and viruses from your surfaces, but it does remove the places where they hide. That’s why the next steps are so important.
  • Sanitizing, performed after cleaning, helps reduce the presence of viruses, germs and other bacteria on surfaces. However, it doesn’t completely eliminate them. It helps lower the amount to a level considered safe by public health standards.
  • Disinfecting, performed after cleaning, is the strongest method, using chemicals to kill or inactivate germs and viruses. While sanitizing reduces the number of germs, disinfecting will eliminate them. With many disinfectants, you need to let them sit on the surface for a certain length of time, determined by the manufacturer, for them to work effectively. 


How Can I Safely Clean, Sanitize, and Disinfect My Home?

The best way to keep germs from making people sick is to clean, sanitize and disinfect your surroundings. Be sure to focus on commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, counters and tables. These surfaces need daily cleaning to prevent the spread of germs. Additionally, washing your hands regularly and thoroughly is crucial to avoid spreading germs on surfaces and to others.

The best course of action is to clean regularly. Reducing the number of germs in your home lowers the likelihood of illness. To clean your home, use a non-irritating, natural cleaner on your most highly used surfaces. To disinfect, you will need a product with chemicals clinically proven to kill or inactivate germs. There are user friendly options available, such as the Pathopure and Pathonex combo from PathoSans. This combo provides an effective way to clean, sanitize, and disinfect your surroundings.

Whether you’re cleaning your home, schools, restaurants, or other commercial facilities, it’s important to remember the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Each one has a role to play, and PathoSans solutions can help with each step. To learn more about PathoSans products, visit our products page.