The Difference Between Cleaning And Sanitizing

Do you know the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?

cleaning or sanitizing

Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

Cleaning and sanitizing are often used interchangeably, but they are two different things. They are not even close. Cleaning is the processes of removing dust, dirt, debris, and stain from your carpet, rug, chairs, and other parts of your apartment. Cleaning involves sweeping the floor, wiping the counters to remove dust and grime. It also includes scrubbing. Cleaning focuses more on the appearance of the surface. However, cleaning does not involve the removal of germs.

On the other hand, sanitizing goes beyond cleaning. It is not only the removal of dust, dirt, debris, and stains from your carpet, rug, chairs, and other parts of your apartment, it also includes the removal of bacteria, mites, germs, and all other microorganisms. In other words, sanitization is the process of removing all bacteria.

Many people often use disinfecting and sanitizing interchangeably. Of course, they are similar in meaning but, they are different. Here is the difference. Disinfecting will eliminate most of the bacteria and other germs in a place, but sanitizing will remove all of them. It is as simple as that.

Why sanitizing is as important as cleaning

Your apartment may be clean, but not free of germs. Dirt and dust can be seen with the naked eyes but germs can’t be seen. So, to prevent health issues, you need to clean and sanitize your apartments. Due to the major advantages of sanitizing, many homeowners now prefer to clean and also sanitize their apartments.

Challenge with sanitizing

Unfortunately, many sanitizing solutions are not pet-friendly, kid-friendly, and eco-friendly. Of course, these products will kill off all the bacteria in your apartment, but they may lead to some health issues. After all, sanitization is to get rid of germs not humans. Instead of using a sanitizing solution that may elicit health issues, it is better to hire companies that are into professional steam cleaning. This is the use of vaporized water to clean rugs and carpets. The vapor is heated to a very high degree before being applied by the cleaning machine.

While you may clean other areas, your restroom, definitely needs to be sanitized on a daily basis, especially your sinks. This is because bacteria and other germs multiply if not eliminated and it spreads to other parts of the home. So, you need to kill them daily.

Tips on how to sanitize your apartment naturally

Spray baking soda on your upholstery and leave it for 30 minutes. Then you can vacuum it up. For your kitchen countertops, cut lemon in half and dip the face (transverse section) in baking soda and rub it on your countertops, cutting boards, and sink. Leave the surfaces for two minutes before wiping them with a wet piece of cloth. A mixture of lemon and soda kills germs but it is not advisable for stainless steel as it could lead to rusting.

Cleaning involves manual work

Cleaning involves using manual labor to remove dirt, stains, and grime, such as dusting, scrubbing, and vacuuming using cleaning tools and equipment. One example is cleaning the ceiling of your home. Your house’s ceiling, whether it’s a new or acoustic or popcorn ceiling, should be cleaned. To ensure that cobwebs are removed and avoid air contaminants, including viruses, from proliferating, learn how to clean popcorn ceiling.

On the other hand, sanitizing involves chemical work, relying on the powerful chemicals or substances found in disinfectants and sanitizing agents, such as the following:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Ortho-phthalaldehyde
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide combination
  • Iodophors
  • Sodium hypochlorite

Take note that not all disinfected items or things are necessarily clean, like when a disinfectant solution is placed on the doormat to disinfect soiled shoes of visitors or family members before entering the home.

How to clean and sanitize toys

Cleaning involves physically removing germs using soap and water, washing away dirt and grime in surfaces. Disinfecting kills most bacteria, viruses, and other germs on objects, such as baby toys. When should you clean and disinfect toys? 

Extra cleaning and disinfecting are required if your child has been sick, after playing with other children, a toy fell on the ground, or a child’s milk, food, mucous, or vomit has gotten on a toy. Cleaning comes first before disinfection. So, you must begin cleaning baby toys before applying a disinfectant. Cleaning will also remove any visible dirt while sanitizing or disinfecting reduce or kills germs.

Here are some cleaning and sanitizing tips for toys:

  • Follow the toy manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning and disinfecting toys. 
  • Check to see if the toys are dishwasher safe. Place the safe dishwasher toy on the top dishwasher rack and wash it using dishwasher detergent. Set the dishwasher on the normal cycle and dry toys using the heated cycle.

In conclusion, the major difference between cleaning and sanitizing is that the former removes dirt, debris, and stains while the latter involves the removal of bacteria and other germs and both of them are necessary. Disinfecting also kills germs, but not as much as sanitizing.

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