What is the major difference between cleaning and disinfecting your home?


Lot of us use both the terms interchangeably but both are two different procedures that are ideally combined to get a spotless home clean. Cleaning can be done without disinfecting and disinfection is killing all the hidden germs & bacteria.

Unseen germs exist even if your house appears to be pristine. It's vital to grasp the differences between "cleaning," "disinfecting," and "sanitizing," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For germ-free environments especially in big spaces like schools, hospitals, and public places, a combination of all three is highly recommended. But for your home, the two-step process of cleaning and disinfecting is more than enough. 

This cleaning can be defined as a surface-level activity that gets rid of visible dust, dirt, grime, and other impurities from floors, cabinets, etc. A simple vacuum, doing your dishes, dusting, mopping the floor with water keeps your home look and feel clean. Try following range of our products for effective cleaning:

Eco-friendly Floor Cleaner With Geranium & Lavender Essential Oil
Eco-friendly Bathroom Cleaner With Sweet Orange & Lemon Essential Oil
Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent With Geranium & Lavender Essential Oil
Eco-friendly All Surface Cleaner With Ylang Ylang & Lavender Essential Oil
Eco-friendly Glass Cleaner With Patchouli & Lavender Essential Oil

Disinfecting, on the other hand, kills germs, bacteria, and viruses that are not visible to the eyes. These harsh chemicals are tested and known to disinfect all kinds of surfaces in no time. Following are some of the widely used chemicals:

  • Bleach/Chlorine
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Phenol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Formaldehyde

    Sanitizing is the further step of disinfection, it is a process of removing germs from surfaces to comply with public health regulations. Sanitization products include:

    • Hand sanitizers
    • Any surface cleaners that has disinfectant as an active ingredient

      Don’t substitute Cleaning with Disinfection 

      Disinfectants or Sanitizers are not intended to clean, wiping the surface directly with them won't give you additional protection. After removing visible dirt and grime from a surface with a cleaning product, follow the label's instructions for applying a disinfectant or sanitizer. A disinfectant product may need to remain on a surface for up to 10 minutes, depending on the active components, to ensure that all germs are destroyed.


      The only exception to the above scenario is the very recent Covid outbreak. Cleaning alone is not enough if you wish to eradicate viruses. Using disinfectants on every surface is a good practice.

      How to do effective Cleaning & Disinfecting of your home

      Now that you understand their difference, the importance of cleaning & disinfecting cannot be denied. Combining both activities is a powerful package to ensure the healthy and happy lives of everyone at home. 

      Daily Cleaning 

      The visible dirt, grime & dust are the surface covers of all the germs that are hidden underneath. This would mean cleaning all the surfaces which are frequently touched by people like tables, chairs, kitchen slab, bathroom fixtures, etc. If daily disinfecting is not possible, use air deodorizers. You can simply clean the area with only water or soap.


      Routine Cleaning & Disinfecting 

      Many studies have confirmed that any virus can infect within a span of 48 hrs. So cleaning & disinfecting the surfaces as a routine (once a day) is the fair choice. Extensive disinfection including cleaning the walls and ceilings, utilizing room air deodorizers regularly, and fumigating is not required or advised.

      Use correct procedures 

      There is no point in cleaning and disinfecting if you are not doing it in the right way. Whatever product you decide to use, it gives you information about the dosage amount, precautions, and most importantly “how to use” guide. Read the labels for all such information.

      Avoid plain water for cleaning 

      cleaning v/s disinfecting debate has been going on for ages. But for 100% germ protection and a spotless environment, a combination of both is necessary. After cleaning, many use plain water for wiping the surfaces to avoid the toxicity of chemicals. In that case try using clean alternatives or green products which are manufactured using all-natural ingredients and completely biodegradable.

      How chemicals in your regular cleaning products can cause environmental and health hazards, read here.

      Why should you do both?

      Many understood the importance of cleaning & disinfection with the outbreak of COVID. Before the disinfection, surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned. Surfaces and equipment are prepared for disinfection by removing dirt, debris, and dust. Germs and bacteria can thrive in soils. When there are surface soils, disinfection becomes less efficient.

      Even if a surface is disinfected before being cleaned, the leftover soils  aid growth of hazardous microorganisms and lead to subsequent contamination. So cleaning before disinfection will be more effective.

      Clean living is healthy living! And while cleaning, choose eco-friendly alternatives because as much as cleaning matters, how you clean matters too! Check out PureCult’s wide range of home cleaning products that are not only effective in cleaning, but also environment-friendly, pet-friendly and kids-safe.

      Last updated on: Jan15/23

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

      This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.