Cleaning vs. Sanitizing/Disinfecting

What is the difference between clean and sanitized or disinfected. Many are asking this question as this global pandemic continues. Believe it or not, these two are commonly confused for each other and it is more important than ever to make sure your office or facility is both cleaned and sanitized/disinfected.

The CDC defines the two as:

Cleaning is the removal of visible soil from objects and surfaces and normally is accomplished manually or mechanically using water with detergents or enzymatic product.

Sanitization/Disinfection describes a process that eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores, on inanimate objects.


It is important to know the difference, but it is also important to know that both are needed.  Surfaces must be cleaned first and then the proper disinfectant should be used.

First Choice only uses EPA approved disinfectants.  To combat COVID-19 in our community, we are using disinfectants approved to kill SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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