Disinfect To Protect: Know The Difference Between Cleaning And Disinfecting

Updated: Aug 24

Clear, relevant, and credible information are important in any point of time, but are especially crucial in a time of pandemic when such information could spell the difference between life and death. As the world faces COVID-19, the public has been bombarded with all kinds of information. Understanding the meaning behind frequently used terms featured on health and safety guidelines could help the general public properly follow these suggested protocols. 


One of the most commonly used words nowadays are undoubtedly, “disinfect” and “clean.” Unfortunately, most people may not realize the huge difference between the two. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a global leader in detecting and responding to new and emerging health threats, made a point to highlight the difference between the two. As the leading health protection agency, CDC is one of the most trusted names and sources of information available today. 


In order to combat the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus, CDC has released several materials on protecting yourself, your properties, and your household on their official website and other verified social media channels. On the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, CDC clarified:

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants