What is Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Whether you are maintaining a school, hospital, office, or any other facility – cleaning and disinfecting is an important part of routine maintenance. Since, it’s the best way to reduce the spread of germs throughout hard surfaces in your facility, keeping it clean also enhances its overall appearance.

Depending on the usage and type of work done at your property, the frequency for cleaning and disinfecting might differ. For example; cleaning and disinfecting in a hospital is performed every 3-4 hours at least. On the other hand, in a factory, cleaning might be anything from a daily to weekly need, depending on the extent and safety of the job.

Whatever the case is, NYC Disinfection Services provide the best solution for all of your sanitization and janitorial needs.

Difference between Cleaning and Disinfecting.


CSanitizing and Disinfectingleaning is a general process for eliminating grime build-up, dirt stains, and germs from any physical surface. Usually, a mixture of soap/detergent and water remains utilizes in this regard. Cleaning helps reduce the spread of germ growth from a surface i.e. removing them from one place and transferring to another, but it cannot kill germs effectively.

• Cleaning alone cannot stop germs from reproducing and spreading.


Disinfecting is the process with the sole purpose to kill germs immediately. In other words, Disinfecting does not clean dirt and grime from a surface rather sanitize it. Depending on the type of disinfectant you are using, it has the ability to kill 100% of the germs i.e. bacteria/viruses listed on the manufacturers’ data. However, most disinfectants contain either Peroxide (Hydrogen-Peroxide based), Quaternary Ammonium Chloride (QUATS), or Hypochlorite (bleach-based).

• Once the surface gets disinfected, the germs cannot survive on it i.e. cannot reproduce or grow.

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting; The order of Operations.

If proper sanitization of a particular space is the goal, cleaning and disinfecting has to be used in combination. In such a scenario,

  1. First of all, clean the surface using a water-based detergent or any other cleaning agent. It helps remove dirt and grime. Therefore, providing effective channels for proper sanitization.
  2. Once the surface becomes spotless, it’s time for disinfecting it. For which, there is a variety of disinfecting chemicals to choose from. Select the one appropriate for your need and apply/spray it on the required area using proper safety measures and let air-dry.
  3. You have a completely clean and sanitized living/work space!

The best medium for disinfection.

As far as the disinfection of a particular space is concerned, there are multiple ways to achieve it. Let it be your home, office, or building; Chlorine bleach remains an inexpensive, widely-used, and effective surface disinfectant at very low dilutions.

To conclude, different facilities require different cleaning products and disinfection procedures depending on the frequency of usage, types of surfaces, legal cleaning requirements, and consumer market. For which, it’s always recommended for you to get expert advice from NYC Disinfection Service’s experienced cleaning workers.