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What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitation, and Disinfection?

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What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitation, and Disinfection?

Feb 19, 2024
Your spaces need to be clean. Not only does cleanliness enhance appearance and make spaces more inviting, but regular maintenance also helps keep the people who live and work in your buildings safe an

Your spaces need to be clean. Not only does cleanliness enhance appearance and make spaces more inviting, but regular maintenance also helps keep the people who live and work in your buildings safe and healthy.  

Right now, is one of the most common times of year for the spread of germs and viruses. You need to make sure your surfaces are clean to prevent the spread of contaminants to your employees, students, and tenants.

Cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection are all important parts of a healthy space, but many people do not know the difference between the terms. It is important to understand what each of these terms means so you know what to ask for when it comes time to hire a professional janitorial service.  

In this post, we will discuss the difference between cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection so you know what services you need to keep your building and its surfaces clean. Keep reading to learn more! 


What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitation, and Disinfection? 


People often get confused about the difference between cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection. 

Cleaning simply refers to the removal of dirt, dust, crumbs, and other impurities using soap or detergent. Sanitizing, on the other hand, involves lowering the number of germs to a safe level, which can be accomplished through either cleaning, disinfecting, or both. Disinfection, however, goes a step further and involves using chemicals to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

In the sections below, we will quickly explore each term in more detail.  


What is Cleaning? 


Cleaning is the process of removing dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs from surfaces or objects. When cleaning, soap or detergent and water are typically used to physically remove dirt and germs from the surfaces and objects. While this process may not necessarily kill all the germs, it significantly reduces their numbers, making it less likely for them to spread infection.

The physical action of cleaning effectively removes a significant portion of the germs, as well as any dirt and debris that may harbor additional contagion. By reducing the number of germs present on surfaces and objects, cleaning helps to create a healthier and more hygienic environment. 

Regular and thorough cleaning is especially important in spaces where germs and bacteria can easily spread, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and communal living areas. It is also essential in high-touch surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs, light switches, and electronic devices. 

While cleaning may not completely eliminate all bacteria, it is a crucial step in preventing the spread of infection and maintaining a clean and safe environment. 

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What is Sanitation? 


Sanitation refers to the process of using chemicals, also known as disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces and objects. Common disinfectants include bleach and alcohol solutions, which are effective in killing a wide range of germs. When using disinfectants, it is important to leave them on the surfaces and objects for a specific time to thoroughly kill the germs. 

It is important to note that while disinfecting is crucial for killing germs, it does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. Sanitation is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy environment, especially in settings such as hospitals, food preparation areas, and public spaces. 

By regularly disinfecting surfaces and objects, we can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases and protect the health of those around us. Good sanitation practices, along with regular cleaning and hand hygiene, are essential for preventing the transmission of harmful germs.  

Since sanitation requires the use of chemicals, it is recommended that you contact a professional service, like Faith Environmental Crime Scene Cleanup for all your major sanitation needs. This will not only ensure your safety and the safety of your staff, but it will also ensure that your space is treated only with environmentally responsible chemicals.  


What is Disinfection? 


Disinfection is the process of killing or inactivating disease-causing microorganisms on surfaces and objects. This can be achieved using chemicals, such as bleach or alcohol-based disinfectants, or by using physical methods such as heat or radiation. The goal of disinfection is to reduce the number of harmful germs to a level that is considered safe for public health standards or requirements in a particular setting. 

Disinfection is important for many buildings and institutions, including hospitals, food preparation facilities, schools, and public spaces, to prevent the spread of infections and diseases. The specific methods and products used for disinfection will vary depending on the needs of the space or surface being treated. More intensive settings like hospitals may need harsher chemicals to ensure disinfection, while apartment buildings may need less intensive cleaning.  

Disinfecting often involves both cleaning and sanitation and is part of an overall strategy for cleanliness in your spaces.  


Faith Environmental Crime Scene Cleanup is Here for Your Janitorial Needs 


Keeping your spaces clean and free from germs is important, especially in spaces like schools, apartment buildings, and offices where many people come and go each day. Dirty or infected surfaces can spread contaminants like germs and viruses that get people sick.  

Whether your surfaces need to be cleaned or sanitized, disinfecting is crucial. Both cleaning and sanitizing should be performed regularly to keep the people who live, learn, and work in your buildings safe and healthy.  

If your building needs regular cleaning, sanitation, or disinfection, reach out to the professionals at Faith Environmental Crime Scene Cleanup. Our team of janitorial professionals has years of experience in keeping buildings clean and safe.  

Click here to reach out to Faith Environmental Crime Scene Cleanup now to discuss your cleaning or sanitation needs! 

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