What is the difference between Cleaning and Disinfection?

A lot of times, the terms ‘Cleaning’ and ‘Disinfecting’ are used interchangeably without understanding the nuances involved in the process. Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing, but they are also not substitutes for each other. Let us now attempt to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Additionally, let us also gain further insight into why doing both are important to keep your home and other premises safe and germ-free.

What is cleaning?

Cleaning can be referred to as any act that attempts to rid a surface off any dirt, grime and other impurities that are visible to the naked eye. Cleaning may or may not remove the germs from a surface. A surface that has been cleaned might still have germs, bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms on it. Cleaning alone cannot eliminate the disease causing germs, bacteria and viruses from a surface.

What is disinfecting?

Disinfecting is a more complex activity that kills the germs and any other micro-organisms on a surface. Disinfecting any surface involves using a powerful agent that can kill germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold. Products such as surface disinfectant spray are immensely helpful when disinfecting any surface in and around your home, office, store and even your vehicle. The disinfecting Savlon Spray kills 99.9%* germs including the Covid-19 Coronavirus^.

*Basis lab study on sample microbes  ^Basis lab study on SARS CoV 2 virus

What is the difference between Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Cleaning and disinfecting are two separate processes that are not necessarily substitutes of each other. In fact, cleaning and disinfecting should be done in succession in order to effectively eliminate any germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold from any surface around you.

Floors, tables, chairs, desks, door knobs, handles, elevator buttons, car seats, kitchen tables, toilets, sinks and other hard surfaces around you come into contact with a lot of people. These surfaces can not only accumulate dirt and grime over time but also be a hotspot for germs.

Wiping clean or washing alone cannot rid these spots off the disease causing germs. Therefore, it is important to disinfect these surfaces and places after they are cleaned in order to make them safe. Germs and bacteria are not as easily visible to the naked eye as dirt and other contaminants.

However, cleaning is an important step that must be carried out before disinfecting these surfaces. Removing any visible impurities from any surface is paramount before you proceed to disinfect it.

Both cleaning and disinfecting a surface not only makes it visibly clean but also renders it safe and germ-free which can prevent the transmission of diseases and infections among your family members, colleagues and other acquaintances.