Are Cleaning and Sanitizing the Same Thing?

Are Cleaning and Sanitizing the Same Thing?

We’re sorry to have to blow your mind here, and this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, but cleaning and sanitizing are not the same thing. In the same way that thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs, there are elements of sanitizing when you clean, but not all cleaning is sanitizing.

So, what exactly is the difference, then?


Cleaning means removing all visible dirt, dust, and clutter from a surface or space. It may not always kill bacteria and germs, but it does kill some of them, aiding in lowering the risk of infection and spreading of germs.

It’s also about organising and decluttering your space – say a bedroom or a living room. The result of cleaning is more about how your area looks, feels, and smells by the end, rather than how sanitized and safe the surfaces are.


When you sanitize, you are cleaning at the same time. It both removes the dirt and dust that has accumulated while at the same time, lowering the level of germs and bacteria to a safe enough level where there is a very little chance of spreading diseases.

If you have a product that specifies it’s for sanitization purposes, that means it is promising to reduce the level of germs that could be harmful to your health. When it comes to sanitizing by using an appliance, it’s important that the temperature used (like during a wash cycle) is above 170 degrees Fahrenheit as anything below that will not kill germs and bacteria.

Which should you be doing?

Although it isn’t necessary to sanitize every time you clean, you should be thinking about them both in tandem. Like there are cleaning chores that are done daily, weekly, monthly, or even seasonally, there is a lot of overlap with how often you should be sanitizing.

Some areas of your home or your space are used multiple times a day, such as light-switches and doorknobs, and often by more than one person. So, adding this high-traffic area to be sanitized, thus stopping the cross-contamination of germs, can make all the difference.

Weekly cleaning tasks, like mopping and scrubbing countertops, can also include sanitization. It’s so important to keep these areas clean as a whistle. We use countertops for so many things, including food preparation, so ensuring you’re both cleaning and sanitizing is vital. It’s also useful to include areas like your desk, phone screens, keyboards, and bins in the weekly sanitize.

Your monthly jobs are the heavy hitters. These are the deep cleaning tasks that require time. Your fridge, car interior, washing machines, and showerheads. They’re all things that shouldn’t be forgotten about, though it can be easily done! Germs build up in these spots over time and a monthly sanitize will do a good job at keeping all those nasty things at bay.

When booking a clean with the Cleanster, you can select our deep cleaning option to ensure your property is as clean as it can be, without missing those overlooked areas!