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Cleaning and Sanitising: What's the Difference?

Cleaning and sanitising are two faces of one coin but they are not same to each other at all. From their performance till their work and site of application, everything is different for both the terms.

What is Cleaning?

Cleaning is necessary and it is the removal of substances like dirt, dust, oil, chemical residues that are visible to our naked eye. It is quite possible that the germs that are attached along with them may also get wiped off.

For better understanding, cleaning isn’t meant to kill any germs on an object. Cleaning is only meant to clean the visible dust, dirt or any other substance present on an object.

What is sanitising?

Sanitising is basically done in order to reduce the number of germs, bacteria or viruses present on any surface to a safe level. The reduction of germs takes place by their killing by the use of chemicals.

Sanitising should be done after cleaning as the performance of the sanitizer is enhanced if it is done after cleaning. Whenever sanitization is done without cleaning, the amount of germs removed is reduced. Sanitisation is usually done in order to bring the germ count to the safe level that they become harmless.

Difference Between Cleaning and Sanitising 1

Is there any specification on what to clean and what to sanitise?

As both cleaning and sanitisation have different functions and are categorised differently, the things and objects also differ accordingly.

Cleaning can generally be done on objects that are less involved in our contact. For example, doors, tables, chairs, furniture, and other objects that are not in direct contact with food or stuff that we can engulf are meant for cleaning.

The removal of dust and dirt from such objects is important but not the minimization of germs. If you want to, you can also sanitise such objects.

When it comes to sanitisation, it is very important to figure out the objects that should be sanitised. Objects that have access to our mouth directly like the utensils, cutlery, cooking pans, pots and other items that have direct contact with our food and can be a major reason to cause infection in us.

You should carefully sanitise i.e., minimise the number of germs present on them so that they are unable to cause us harm. Also, you can sanitise any object after cleaning so that there would be less chance of getting in contact with any harmful virus or bacteria.


Whether it’s about cleaning or sanitising, the main purpose should be staying clean and keeping yourself and your environment clean from any virus or harmful contamination. Once you take care of these small things, you can save everyone around you from getting into such devastating pandemic or illness.

Harry Virk

Harry Virk is the director of CleaningPro Auckland. He has years of experience in the cleaning industry and his company is expert at providing exceptional cleaning services in Auckland. He has a passion for helping people and making sure that their homes are clean, tidy, and ready for visitors.

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