Difference Between Cleaning and Sanitizing

There are many people who think that if they have cleaned up a plate by removing dirt and other particles of food, they have gotten it sanitized, as well. However, when such people go out to grocery stores, they are dumbfounded when they see not just cleaners like soaps and detergents, but also many different types of sanitizers on the selves. It becomes clear then that cleaning is not sanitizing. Especially, if you are an owner of a restaurant serving people food stuff, you have to make sure that the utensils used for serving food to customers are not just cleaned, they are also sanitized. This is possible only after your staff knows the differences between cleaning and sanitizing. This article attempts to highlight these differences for the benefits of a general reader.

What is Cleaning?

Removing dirt and other particles from a surface is called cleaning. When you come back from office, the first thing you do before grabbing a bite is to wash your hands and face with water and soap so that you are sure that they are clean. There is often soil and dirt attached to vegetables and fruits when we buy them from the market. This is why doctors advise us to wash them properly to remove all dirt and soil in order to make them clean. Thus, it becomes clear that cleaning is the process of removing all visible grease, soil, and dirt from the surfaces of objects with which we come in close contact. We clean the floor, the glasses, the kitchen top, beds, all furniture items, our cars, clothes, and even the gadgets we use in order to avoid catching any infection. The fruits and vegetables that we buy from the market need to be cleaned thoroughly to remove all visible dirt and soil before we can consume them. Cleaning can be done using mops, water, soaps, detergents, cloth, brooms, brushes, scrubs, and sponges.

What is Sanitizing?

Sanitizing is a word that people mostly use in connection with their toilets. They also hear it being used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Once you have cleaned a surface, the next logical step is, of course, sanitizing. The recent study linking ADHD in children with inefficient sanitizing of fruits and vegetables is enough to open our eyes. It is a fact that we cannot see bacteria with our naked eyes. We think that we have cleaned an apple before giving it to our kid to eat, but that does not prevent the kid from coming into contact with bacteria that remain on the surface of the fruit. This bacterium on the surface of fruits and vegetables is a result of use of pesticides during the process of growing them. Cleaning is only a step towards sanitization as you can only remove visible dirt from a surface through cleaning. It requires sanitizing with a chemical, to become free from bacteria. Sanitizing is a process that not only removes dirt but also bacteria to make the food item safe for consumption and less likely to spread diseases.

What is the difference between Cleaning and Sanitizing?

• Cleaning is not sanitizing; it is only the first step towards sanitizing.

• A surface that has been cleaned to remove visible dirt, grease, and soil needs to be sanitized to remove bacteria that might be present on the surface.

• Cleaners are not sanitizers.

• Sanitizers contain chemicals that can kill bacteria and other germs so as to make food items safe for consumption.