These three words are used interchangeably so often that we’ve forgotten what they mean. You may think that it doesn’t matter what the difference is. However, you could be doing all three of these wrong just because you don’t know what they mean.
Think about it; the multi-purpose cleaner you use could be making your home smell fresh, but what does it do? Odds are unless it says disinfectant, it’s not attacking the harmful bacteria crawling around your home.
Let’s break down what they mean so you can reassess how you’re maintaining a healthy home.
What Cleaning Entails
Cleaning is a word used to designate all actions that tidy a house up. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting, organizing things, and even washing the dishes can fall under cleaning. What you’re mostly doing is targeting visible dirt, dust, and general debris in your home.
For example, cleaning out your closet is a type of cleaning; but it doesn’t involve killing bacteria. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re not getting rid of germs as you clean. Cleaning methods tend to remove allergens, contaminants, and microbes that you don’t want in your living space.
The underlying intention behind cleaning is to make a space more livable and usable.
Isn’t Sanitizing And Disinfecting The Same?
Now that you know how cleaning is different, it’s easy to assume that disinfecting and sanitizing is the same. After all, both of these entail targeting germs and bacteria, right? Wrong! Sanitizing means lowering the number of germson a surface.
So, this means that products that boast sanitizing properties may not be killing all the germs, just lowering how many there are. The limited effectiveness of sanitizers is why you should be super careful when buying products.
On the other hand, disinfecting means using chemicals to kill bacteria and other microbes on a surface. Disinfectants don’t necessarily clean surfaces, but they are supposed to be super effective at killing germs.
Which One You Should Be Doing
You will probably have to do all of these at some point. Cleaning products are what you want to look for when buying something to get rid of stains, grease marks, and spills.
Sanitizing is something you can do without the use of chemicals as well. Steam, for one, is a non-chemical sanitizer that removes bacteria. You can sanitize upholstery, clothes, and some everyday use items with steam. However, if you need to go hardcore and kill all the microbes, disinfectants are the way to go.