Maryland Cleaning Services

What is the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing?

Jun 5, 2020

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are all buzzwords right now that are often used interchangeably, but what exactly is the difference? You may be confused as to when each of the three is best to use. Understanding the difference between them can help you in maintaining your home more effectively, and give you peace of mind during flu season.

professional cleaning sanitizing disinfecting services

Let’s look at the difference between these three cleaning methods to understand which is best for your home:


Cleaning refers to removing germs from a surface. To clean something, you literally wipe away germs using water and some kind of soap. To clean a surface, you do not need to use a disinfecting or antibacterial product commonly required for chemically killing the germs.

In this case you are using the soap to physically remove the germs that bind to the soap and then are washed away with the water. This is why washing your hands with regular soap is just as effective as washing them with antibacterial soap, because the germs attach to the soap and go down the drain with the water. 


Disinfecting refers to the removal of germs by actually killing them. You can disinfect a surface with a spray disinfectant product like Lysol. Unlike with soap, antibacterial disinfectants kill germs and viruses before rinsing them away.

Because this process does not require soap or water to technically remove germs, wiping the surface clean or rinsing it after disinfecting will be necessary to fully clean the surface. Areas like kitchens and bathrooms should be both disinfected and cleaned regularly. 


Sanitizing can be achieved by either method, cleaning or disinfecting, but it refers to an area being cleaned to a certain standard as required by the health department or government. In order to sanitize something, you have to eliminate a certain percentage of germs from a surface.

Sanitizing can be achieved by cleaning, disinfecting, or a combination of the two. When it comes to your home surfaces, using a disinfectant and then simply cleaning the surface with warm soapy water can be sufficient. In a commercial setting, such as a kitchen or hospital, sanitation is necessary.

Professional Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing Services in MD

If you are in need of these services in Howard County, Kent Clean is here for you! Whether you need your home cleaned on a regular basis or your place of business needs a thorough disinfecting after the pandemic, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today to schedule your cleaning and get some peace of mind that your residence or commercial space is protected.

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"WOW, WOW, WOW. I don't know what else to say. With two dogs and a 2 year old running around the house, our carpets and furniture need cleaning on a regular basis. It's nice to know that all I need to do is pick up the phone and I have no more worries. In this day and age, it is a very pleasant surprise to come across a company who will do what they say they will do when they say they will do it and with very little supervision. Kudos to Kent Clean!!! Thanks Larry!"
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Maryland Floor Cleaning Services

Anne Arundel County Floor Cleaning Services: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

Baltimore County Floor Cleaning Services: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), Baltimore City and more.

Carroll County Floor Cleaning Services: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Frederick County Floor Cleaning Services: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), and more.

Howard County Floor Cleaning Services: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County Floor Cleaning Services: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Prince George's County Floor Cleaning Services: Bowie (20715, 20716, 20720, 20721), Beltsville (20705), Adelphi (20783), College Park (20740,20742), Greenbelt (25689), Hyattsville (20781, 20782, 20783, 20784), Landover (20785), Laurel (20707, 20723), Springdale (20774), Upper Marlboro (20772, 20774), Woodlawn (21207).

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