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What Is the Difference between Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Place of Business?



When running a business such as a restaurant, it’s critical to keep your establishment clear of dirt and germs to protect the health of customers and employees and avoid getting safety violations. But are the workers simply cleaning up the mess they see, or are they keeping the place sanitized?

Here’s a rundown on what the difference is between cleaning and sanitizing.


What Does Cleaning Entail?


Cleaning involves physically removing dirt, crumbs, grime, and other contaminants from surfaces. We typically use soap or detergent, water, and a cloth or mop to wash, scrub, and wipe them off. We could also use appliances like vacuum cleaners to get dust from the floor and walls.


For example, cleaning in a school setting would include wiping down the classroom desks and chairs. Meanwhile, office cleaning would entail vacuuming carpeted floors, wiping the cubicles, and so forth.


While cleaning removes visible dirt and other impurities, the process doesn’t necessarily kill the germs. But it does help remove many of them from the surface. This already helps reduce your chances of getting bacterial infections.


What’s Involved in Sanitizing?


Meanwhile, sanitation reduces the number of bacteria on the surface, not just clearing out the visible dirt and grime. This means using antimicrobial chemicals such as chlorine dioxide solutions to kill off the bacteria, further making the surfaces safer for people.


Sanitizing is usually done after cleaning as it will kill off any remaining bacteria that wasn’t removed when you cleaned the surface.


But depending on the cleaning solutions used, cleaning and sanitizing can sometimes be the same thing. For instance, using a dishwashing detergent with antibacterial ingredients would both clean and sanitize your tableware.

What about Disinfecting?

You could consider disinfecting as a step higher than sanitizing. It doesn’t just kill bacteria, but viruses as well. But disinfecting doesn’t get rid of the dirt, dust, or other contaminants. For instance, cleaning and then disinfecting electronic devices may involve using isopropyl alcohol to kill the germs, not just wiping the device down with a clean cloth.


While you could apply disinfectant or sanitizer on a surface without having to clean it, that layer of dirt or dust could prevent it from actually taking effect. As such, disinfecting and sanitizing are best done after you’ve finished cleaning the surfaces.


Get Your Cleaning and Sanitizing Needs Done Simply Right

Knowing what the difference between cleaning and sanitizing is helps business owners keep their place hygienic. But not everyone has the time and energy to conduct regular deep cleaning and sanitizing sessions for their establishments.

That’s where Simply Right comes in. We've been providing cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting services to a variety of sectors throughout the United States of America for over 35 years. Restaurants, healthcare facilities, workplaces, and even airports are among the businesses we serve. Therefore, save your business valuable time and request a free quote from us today!


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