Clean, Sanitize, and Disinfect: They are not the same!!

There is still a lot the scientific community does not know about the novel COVID-19 virus. But, the CDC suggests keeping your home/environment as clean and hygienic as possible to help defend against the virus.  Fortunately, there are some solid standards for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting that will help keep you protected and healthy.

Handwashing, social distancing and properly wearing PPE are as equally important as understanding and incorporating proper methods to clean, sanitize, and disinfect our home and living environments. Did you know that the terms clean, sanitize, and disinfect are not scientifically interchangeable?

Clean / Disinfect / Sanitize:  They are all different!!

Cleaning: Cleaning is the first step and an important one because it can prevent the spread of dirt and contaminants. Cleaning removes dirt, dust, odors, and clutter in your home/environment. It reduces the amount of organic matter that contributes to the growth and spread of bacteria and viruses. Cleaning is the combination of using two essential components of friction (rubbing and scrubbing) and the use of soap and water. Also included in the process are picking up, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc. - you know the routine!  Although cleaning is somewhat mundane, you can spice it up by putting on some fun music and ordering some new cool gadgets (check these ones out!) to make cleaning easier. Get motivated !!! This is the first step in the process to ensure your home /environment is as hygienic as possible.

Remember: a thorough cleaning is required before sanitizing and disinfection because inorganic and organic materials that remain on the surfaces may interfere with the effectiveness of sanitizing and disinfecting products causing them to be less effective or ineffective.  So, clean first!!!

Sanitizing: According to the CDC, sanitizing “lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.”  For example, a hand sanitizer will kill germs to a level accepted as safe by the public of health requirements but may not kill all the germs on your hands. 

Disinfecting: Disinfecting itself refers to killing nearly 100 (99.999) percent of germs on surfaces or objects, according to the CDC.  Disinfectants are antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfectants work by destroying the cell wall of microbes or interfering with the metabolism. So, these types of cleaners are important in hospitals and in bathrooms or if someone in your household is ill and you want to prevent others from getting sick. Unlike some sanitizers, disinfectants are NOT to be used on a person or living thing!

Having difficulty finding disinfectant supplies?  Fortunately, you can make a  solution for your home as recommended by the CDC:

How to make a bleach solution - (prepare in a well-ventilated area):


  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water


  1. Pour your solution into an empty and clean spray bottle
  2. Remember to LABEL your solution appropriately
  3. Leave the solution on the hard surface for one minute prior to wiping off the surface
  4. Dispose of any unused solution as recommended by the label on the bleach

High touchpoint areas to include in your cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting include but are not limited to: light switches, doorknobs, railings, remote controls, sink handles, the outside doorknobs, handles and knobs in the kitchen, knobs in bathrooms, window latches, knobs on air conditioners, heaters, etc., - you get the idea.

After all that house cleaning, PPE wearing, and just general day to day living it's also important to consider what you are using to wash your face with to remove all the harmful dirt, oil, and germs. Treat yourself to some self-care with one of our soothing skin cleansers to clean, refresh, and soothe your face. Experience the transformation Skin Health Plus products can do for you.