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September 17, 2021 4 min read

Aren’t they the same thing? Nope. But often people use them interchangeably. Have you ever wondered why there were so many new words added to the concept of cleaning? Such as disinfecting, sanitising, sterilising, etc. This causes confuses those who want to keep their spaces sparkling clean and germ-free. It’s easy to confuse the two, but there is a significant difference. Not knowing the difference between cleaning and disinfecting is a common problem that many of us experience. Perhaps some of you feel that this is nit-picking? However, in reality, cleaning and disinfection are two different operations that require different skills and materials. As a result, they produce different results.

Find out the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.

The difference between cleaning and disinfecting are the two different processes. Cleaning something is removing dirt or contamination that hinders the smooth operation of an object. On the other hand, disinfecting refers to the destruction of harmful bacteria or other microorganisms which can cause illness. There are many factors to consider when choosing the appropriate method to use.

Below is what you need to know about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting:

  1. Cleaning

Cleaning helps remove dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs from surfaces and objects. It involves physically wiping down objects and surfaces with soap (or detergent). There is a possibility that the germs may not necessarily die from this. Due to the removal of some of the germs, you now have fewer chances of getting infected or them spreading.

  1. Disinfecting

A disinfectant kills germs on surfaces and objects by using chemicals (disinfectants). Among the most common disinfectants are bleach and alcohol. Disinfectants usually need to be left on surfaces and objects for a certain amount of time to kill germs. The process of disinfecting does not necessarily involve cleaning dirty surfaces or eliminating germs.

Surfaces and objects that need to be disinfected:

It’s important to note that certain items or surfaces need to be cleaned regularly such as the dishes, laundry, floors, etc, However, you should always disinfect touchpoints that receive a lot of contact. High-touch surfaces may need to be disinfected several times each day depending on the surface and the facility. These include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Handrails
  • Light Switches
  • Soap Dispensers
  • Chair Handles
  • Countertops
  • Toys
  • Remotes
  • Faucets
  • Toilet handles

Discovery also points out how important handwashing is and which other objects or items contribute to the spread of germs including the COVID-19 virus as a result of high touch-points.

Since the pandemic, we’ve now seen for ourselves the speed and effect of germs and bacteria around us. How much more effort should cleaning with disinfecting take place so that it does not only reduce the spread of germs, but also keep us and our loved ones healthy and safe.

As you can now understand, the main difference between cleaning and disinfecting is that cleaning is often done periodically to remove visible dirt, dust, and grime. Whereas disinfecting generally refers to the processes of destroying disease-causing microorganisms to ensure that it does not spread.

When it comes to the difference between cleaning and disinfecting - Zoflora's 3 in 1 action saves you time and money.

Here's a little tip: Cleaning is possible without disinfecting, but disinfecting is impossible without cleaning. Cleansing does not require disinfection unless you need to kill and remove germs. Using a disinfectant after cleaning is the best way to kill germs on surfaces

What should you consider when choosing disinfectant products:

  • Whenever using disinfectants or sanitisers, it is imperative to clean first - dirty surfaces will not respond to them. 
  • Many disinfectants are misused and overused, often in improper concentrations and solutions. More is not always better.
  • The wearing of gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), may be required. Look for the Safety Data Sheet or the product label to determine whether specific protective measures are recommended. You should keep in mind whether the product is being sprayed into the air (which makes it easier to inhale) or applied to cloths (which can cause skin contact). You should also take into account how concentrated the product is and whether it should be diluted. 
  • Take into account the contact time it takes to disinfect and how long it needs to remain on a surface. Consult the label for instructions from the manufacturer. 
  • You need to use the right product for every surface because not every surface is the same! For example, a textile product may not be suitable for stainless steel. Antibacterial products do not work on viruses. Some products require diluting, such as bleach, while some can be sprayed.

To clean a surface, you need to remove dirt and grime; but that’s all! Disinfectants kill germs and bacteria, whereas cleaning products do not. Most cleaning only cleans you’re the surface of your home, not disinfect it. But what if you want to do more than simply clean? What if you want to get rid of bacteria, viruses and mould spores? Save your money by spending on multiple products that do these two processes - Use Zoflora to disinfect your home and not just clean it so that no germs remain!

Now there’s no need to worry about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting when you can have one product with double the action!