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What's the Difference of Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting?

Na-update: Abr 17

Cleaning is a generic term we used to describe of an object or area to free from dirt. Each people have different perspective in terms of using the word clean. For kids, it's picking up scattered toys. Cleaning up the kitchen can mean just washing the dishes and putting away leftovers.


But did you know that there are distinct definitions of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Cleaning is the process of removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning a surface uses soap (or detergent) and water. It may be done through chemical (cleaner), mechanical (scrubbing), and thermal (water temperature). This process doesn't mean that it will kill germs, but removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Cleaning Pantry by ServiceMaster Philippines

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. It is particularly important in food preparation areas where germs and fungi can cause foodborne illnesses.


Sanitizing office using misting machine done by ServiceMaster Philippines

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. It will be much more effective if basic cleaning is done first.


Disinfecting toilet bowl done by ServiceMaster Philippines

When to clean, sanitize or disinfect? Cleaning should be a routine process whether it is daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis. Basic housekeeping maintains order and reduces the growth of microbes and keep pests under control. By doing this, our family and employees will be protected against any microbes. Sanitation is essential on high touch items such as door handles and edges, phones, desktops, elevator buttons and doors. Disinfecting should always be done when someone in the area is ill or if someone has compromised immune system. Following label instructions and using disinfectants correctly is vital to killing microorganisms. We, at ServiceMaster Philippines is a top-leading provider in terms of deep cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting different industries such as healthcare facilities, offices, hospitality and education related businesses as well as project cleaning for homes/condos here in the Philippines nationwide. We are people you trust and we provide guaranteed results.

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