Main Differences between Cleaning, Disinfecting & Sanitizing

Home disinfection by cleaning service, surface treatment from coronavirus, steam disinfection

Disinfecting, cleaning, and sanitizing are often used interchangeably when describing the act of removing or preventing disease-causing microorganisms. These terms, however, have distinct meanings in microbiological speak.

If you’re interested in hiring a biohazard cleanup service, it’s important you know exactly what every term means. This blog will detail the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing in the biohazard cleanup industry.


Cleaning is any process that removes dirt, debris, and/or pollutants from an object. Cleaners are mixtures used to dissolve or suspend soil on surfaces in preparation for subsequent cleaning operations. Cleaners are usually alkaline or acidic solutions of various detergents, like soap. The cleaning process, however, removes germs and bacteria but doesn’t kill them. 

That’s why when dealing with biohazards or traumatic scenes such as an unattended death cleanup, you should look for a more professional service. Cleaning won’t eliminate the threats biohazard contaminants oppose to your health.   


Disinfection is the process of eliminating all forms of microbial life (bacteria, viruses, fungi) on surfaces and objects. It, however, doesn’t necessarily remove all forms of microbial contaminants.

Disinfectants are chemicals applied to non-living objects or surfaces to reduce the number of pathogenic microorganisms making these objects safe to use. Be aware of reading the labels carefully, as it might not be effective if applied improperly. It’s a best practice to clean the surface before disinfecting.  


On the other hand, sanitization is the process of reducing microorganisms on surfaces and objects to levels that will not result in illness or infection. Sanitizers are mixtures used to reduce microorganisms on surfaces and objects to a safe level but not necessarily eliminate all microbial life. 

USA Bio Care Offers The Best Cleanup, Disinfection, And Sanitization In Your Area!

The USA Bio Care team is here to help you clean, disinfect and sanitize any biohazard scene, no matter how big or small. With over decades of experience in the industry and a wide range of services available, we’ve got your back when it comes to all things cleaning-related. 

Our team can handle anything that may arise at work or home with speed and efficiency. Give us a call today for more information on what we offer!