What is the Difference between, Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting?

What is the Difference between, Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting?

The three biggest components to eliminating the threat of illness-causing germs and bacteria are regular cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection. Many people do not know the difference between sanitization and disinfection or think just cleaning will be enough to kill germs. However, there is a difference between them. Utilizing all three in a regular cleaning program can change your workplace for the better. Let’s break down the difference between, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting below:


Cleaning is the process of using soap or detergent and water along with manual techniques or equipment on surfaces in order to remove dirt, grime, dust, and visible impurities. Sponges, microfiber cloths, dusters, and brushes, and cleaning agents can all be used.  Although this type of cleaning is an important first step because it removes germs and lowers their amount, it doesn’t actually kill germs or bacteria. However, getting surfaces very clean lays the foundation for disinfection and sanitization. A lot of disinfectants do not react well with dirt so it’s very important to thoroughly clean the surfaces you plan on disinfecting.


Sanitizing is the removal of most germs from surfaces, bringing them down to a safe level. However, it does not kill them. When you sanitize a surface, you are making it safe for contact by using chemical agents that can remove up to 99.9% of bacteria after being applied for a short, specified amount of time. Sanitization is most effective when done on regularly touched surfaces such as desks, tables, countertops, faucets, keyboards, phones, doorknobs, handles, and so on. While sanitization will help keep germ and bacteria count low, it doesn’t completely destroy them which is why the next step of a proper cleaning routine should include disinfection.


Disinfecting is the process of “killing germs” and it’s an integral part of destroying the pathogens which cause the flu and other viruses and/or diseases. Chemical products known as disinfectants are applied to surfaces to destroy dangerous microorganisms. The disinfectants used should be registered under the EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) in order to ensure safety and effectiveness. They are often sold highly concentrated to mix with water and form a solution, so it’s extremely important that are used following the correct procedures. Disinfection lowers risks of infections spreading by killing germs on objects and surfaces after they have been cleaned.

Workplace Cleaning
Providing a clean and hygienic workplace, from cubicles to common areas to restrooms, is one-way businesses can make a significant positive impact on the health and safety, productivity, and satisfaction of employees. Sick days cost businesses nearly $225.8 billion annually in the U.S. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Online, having an effective cleaning protocol in the workplace can reduce sick days as much as 50%.

With proper cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting protocols in place and supporting employee health, fewer work days are lost to preventable illness. Employees will also be more appreciative of and less distracted by working environments that are clean, resulting in increased morale, productivity, and even higher quality work.

Why You Should Hire DRC Cleaning Solutions

For over 75 years, DRC Cleaning Solutions has been providing professional, janitorial and commercial cleaning services in the Southeastern Michigan area for a variety of businesses. We use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest cleaning technologies in order to keep your office or facility clean, hygienic, and safe. Our cleaning staff is properly trained for each industry we serve and we continuously supervise and audit the services we provide. At DRC Cleaning Solutions our full range of high-quality commercial cleaning and janitorial services are competitively priced, fully insured, and come with quick response times.

Industries we service include but are not limited to:
• Office Cleaning / Janitorial
• Healthcare/Medical Facilities
• Manufacturing /Industrial Facilities
• Churches / Religious Facilities
• Country Clubs / Private Clubs
• Fitness Facilities / Gyms
• Multi-tenant Residential / High-rise Condo Buildings
• Auto Dealerships / Showrooms
• Construction Sites / Post Construction Clean
• Event Venues / Amphitheaters
• Warehouse Facilities
• Outdoor Events and Festivals

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