There is a lot of information on cleaning and disinfection online and in media in the context of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. With too much information about these two, online it is easy for many of us to confuse in these two terms. Hence it is crucial to know the difference and the importance of these two processes. Especially with COVID-19 going on.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning and disinfection both are both an important part of maintenance routine no matter what kind of facility you are maintaining as keeping it clean reduces the chance of spreading pathogens through hard surfaces in your facility.

One must understand that even though cleaning and disinfecting are two different procedure, they should be used together to remove and kill germs. You Must Clean Before You Disinfect. It is important that you cleaning refers to the removal of soil or dirt particles from surfaces. In the

process, some germs may also be removed, but it does not guarantee removal of all germs. Cleaning is essential before disinfecting in order to get the best disinfection result. out of it.

Disinfecting kills germs on the surfaces, preventing them from spreading.

If not cleaned properly there is a probability in the reduction of efficacy of the disinfection processing.

Disinfectant products

There are many products in the market that superficially clean the hard surfaces such as soapy water, vinegar water solution sprays and many more but these products are NOT scientifically proven to disinfect the surface of pathogens such as coronavirus, norovirus etc. It is essential to pay attention to the active ingredients in your cleaning products being used.

Below are some common active ingredients found in the CDC and EPA recommended disinfectant products: that kill many viruses and bacteria:

1) Ethanol alcohol (60%-90%)

2) Hydrogen peroxide 

3) Isopropyl alcohol (60%-90%) 

4) Quaternary Ammonium

5) Sodium hypochlorite


Mixing these product ingredients is dangerous. It can produce toxic gases. Hence it is strongly advised never to mix unless recommended on the label of the product.

Properly disinfecting the facilities and commonly touched objects helps to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens, including COVID-19. By adopting the right practices of cleaning and disinfecting on a daily basis not only we can reduce control the outbreak of infections today but it will help to reduce the spread of such harmful pathogens in future preventing future pandemics too.