Difference Between Sanitizing, Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning is not sanitizing. Sanitizing is not disinfecting. Although the terms are often used synonymously, there is a significant difference among the three.

• Cleaning removes a soil from a substrate. Thus, he says, a cleaner will mix with soil allowing it to be removed.
• Sanitizing is to have a substrate deemed hygienic (from a public health perspective), thus sanitizers reduce, not eliminate, the growth of bacteria.
• Disinfecting is killing germs and bacteria.

The proper process is clean first, disinfect later.