Disinfecting vs. Sanitizing: How to Clean During the COVID-19 Pandemic

//Disinfecting vs. Sanitizing: How to Clean During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Doctor Pouring Alcohol into his Hand

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is now over 300,000.

As more people are testing positive for this life-threatening disease, practicing preventative measures is essential. To keep yourself safe from the Coronavirus, there are steps you’ll need to take.

These steps are cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. While these may all sound the same to you, they are actually quite different.

Keep reading to learn about cleaning vs disinfecting vs sanitizing and how you can prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Cleaning Vs Disinfecting Vs Sanitizing

As we are coming up on a month of shutdowns due to COVID-19, it’s crucial to be practicing safe cleaning habits.

While many of us hear the word “cleaning,” we don’t realize that cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are all different.

In the meantime, here is the difference between cleaning vs disinfecting vs sanitizing:


When we say we’re “cleaning” an area, this just means that we’re removing clutter, dirt, or debris.

For example, if you’re cleaning your counters, you’re just picking up loose wrappers, crumbs, and anything else that should be put away. Cleaning should be the first step before disinfecting or sanitizing.

This ensures that you have a blank slate to do the most effective disinfecting and sanitizing. Remember, cleaning alone is not enough to kill the Coronavirus on a surface.


Disinfecting is the act of removing harmful viruses or pathogens.

Now more than ever, it’s important to disinfect any areas that are being frequently touched. Disinfecting wipes or sprays are essential for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Wipe down doorknobs, faucet handles, phones, and anything else that is frequently touched. Also, disinfect the packaging of any food, product, or other purchase from a store.

You have no idea how many people have touched the item in the store, so you want to make sure it’s cleaned before bringing it into your home. Remember to regularly disinfect your steering wheel, car handles, and anything else in your car that you’re touching often as well.


Sanitizing is important for any area where food is prepped, served, or stored.

Sanitizing removes any harmful bacteria that can make its way into your food. Failure to properly sanitize an area can lead to bacterial infection, weakening your immune system.

To ensure that you have the strongest immune system during these frightening times, sanitize counters before and after serving food. Additionally, wash all produce thoroughly before cooking or consuming.

Make sure that your fridge is properly sanitized as well at least once per week. A weak immune system is dangerous if you are to contract COVID-19, so be vigilant in sanitizing when dealing with food!

Are You Practicing Proper Preventative Measures?

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are all important measures to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While many of us think these acts are the same, they actually have different requirements.

So, what is the difference between cleaning vs disinfecting vs sanitizing? Well, the difference is in what you’re working with as well as the agents you’re working with.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other health content!

By | 2021-10-06T15:35:33+02:00 April 6th, 2020|Health|

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