Is there a difference between cleaning and sanitising?

July 27, 2020 4:25 pm


When it comes to cleaning, there are many terms that can be exchanged, such as clean, sanitize and disinfect. What is the difference between them, and does it matter? When you need to decide what you need from a cleaning company, it helps to know the difference between these, so that you can judge which one you need for your business.

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Definition of cleaning means to remove visible dirt, debris, dust and micro-organisms from the surface. Cleaning does not kill germs but reduces the number of them by getting rid of some or most of them. Many people assume that cleaning in sufficient, when in fact, it is only the first step in the decontamination process. Even if you intend to go on and disinfect, you must first start with the cleaning. For more information about what Office cleaners City Of London can do for you, visit


This means reducing the number of bacteria to levels recommended by public health standards. This helps to reduce the risk of infection, but most likely will not kill all viruses. This is one step further than cleaning and kills more bacteria,  thus making it a useful method for dealing with surfaces that come into contact with food, for example.

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The highest level of cleaning, disinfection eliminates surface micro-organisms that cause disease and pathogens. The only germs it is not effective against are bacterial spores. There are different grades of disinfectant.