Feb 2022
The Key Differences Between Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting
Posted By: In: Health and Cleanliness, 0 Comments

We often use the three words above interchangeably, but each one means something slightly different than another. While some things can be classified as a sanitizer *and* a disinfectant, not all are. Stick with us to learn about the differences.


“Clean your room!” We all remember hearing that growing up. Oftentimes, our teenaged bedrooms would have clothes strewn on the floor, records or CDs falling off shelves, and books haphazardly stacked on a bookshelf. We’d pick it all up and say, “Okay, it’s clean.” And that’s the basic gist of “Cleaning”: removing the dirt we can see. What we need to remember about cleaning is that it does not usually kill or remove harmful bacteria, but it is still a vital step to keep your office healthy and safe. Not only that, but oftentimes products can clean while also sanitizing and disinfecting. However, cleaning products that do not sanitize or disinfect are not regulated by the EPA, so be sure you know what you’re purchasing.


Sanitizing is the next step to office health and overall well-being. Sanitizing reduces and removes the amount of bacteria on a surface but does not kill or destroy it. What does this mean? It means that when you sanitize something, you are lowering the amount of bacteria on the surface to an acceptable public health standards level. Sanitizers are often used on food-safe surfaces, as there are fewer harsh chemicals in comparison with disinfectants. This doesn’t mean that all sanitizers are food-safe, so again, investigate the products before you purchase.


And finally, disinfecting, the Grandfather of Janitorial and Sanitation. Disinfecting kills bacteria on a surface or in the air. They are the only products approved by the EPA to kill bacteria and viruses on solid surfaces. Disinfecting is one of the safest ways to prevent the spread of germs. Similar to sanitizers, some disinfectants are used on food-safe surfaces. Always check to ensure that what you’re using is, in fact, food safe. Disinfecting is essential in all workplaces, but nowhere is it more imperative than in healthcare facilities.

Which Products Should I Get?

Good question. We’ve got several sanitizers and disinfectants ready for you, as well as some suggestions for trash bags. We highly recommend the Husky 824 Quick Care Disinfectant. It cleans, sanitizes, and disinfects in just 15 seconds. Not only that, but it also slows the growth of harmful molds, mildews, and bacteria.

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