Although commonly used interchangeably, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are three separate things. According to the CDC, cleaning removes any visible dirt, dust, and debris from a surface by washing and rinsing, typically with soap or detergent and water. This process does not kill microorganisms, but washes some of them away, reducing their presence. Cleaning is primarily for preparing a surface for disinfection or low-risk surfaces such as floors and windows. Sanitizing mitigates the risk of illness by reducing some of the bacteria on a surface. …To be truly thorough, you need to disinfect. Disinfecting kills all the pathogens listed on the product label (when used according to the label instructions).
- EPA definitions https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/whats-difference-between-products-disinfect-sanitize-and-clean-surfaces
- CDC Guidance https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html