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Cleaning, Sanitizing or Disinfecting?
Choosing the right product for the right goal

Understanding the difference between cleaning, sanitizing & disinfecting. 

In recent years, the importance of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing has become more prominent than ever before. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more aware of the potential risks of harmful pathogens on surfaces and objects. But cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are not new concepts - they have long been essential practices in healthcare facilities, food service settings, and other high-risk environments. 

In this article, we will explore the differences between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions about these important practices. By understanding the importance and proper techniques of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, we can all do our part to create safer, healthier environments for ourselves and those around us.

"Surface disinfectant products are subject to more rigorous EPA testing requirements and must clear a higher bar for effectiveness than surface sanitizing products." 

- Environmental Protection Agency


Cleaning involves removing visible dirt, debris, and grime from surfaces or objects using soap, water, and/or other cleaning agents. The goal of cleaning is to remove dirt and grime that can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses, and make surfaces look and feel clean.


Sanitizing involves reducing the number of harmful microorganisms on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as determined by public health standards. The goal of sanitizing is to reduce the risk of infection and illness.


Disinfecting involves using chemicals or other agents to kill or eliminate all types of harmful microorganisms on surfaces or objects, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The goal of disinfecting is to eliminate harmful pathogens that can cause illness and disease.

Can you use the same product for 

cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

Short answer is, yes! there are products that are designed to clean, disinfect, and sanitize all in one, Armchem Intl. has a variety of products that do all three. These products are often labeled as "disinfectant cleaners" or "sanitizing cleaners." However, it is important to read the label carefully and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use. Some products may be more effective at cleaning or disinfecting, while others may not be suitable for certain types of surfaces or objects. It is important to ensure that the product is effective at eliminating harmful microorganisms and that the proper contact time is observed. If in doubt, it is best to use separate products for cleaning and disinfecting/sanitizing.

In a Nutshell

- Cleaning removes dirt and grime
- Sanitizing reduces amount of germs
- Disinfecting eliminates all types of 
harmful microorganisms!

How Often Should You Disinfect Surfaces?

The frequency of disinfecting surfaces depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of surface, the amount of use, and the risk of exposure to harmful microorganisms. In general, high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops, should be disinfected daily or more frequently if there is a higher risk of exposure. Other surfaces, such as floors and walls, may only need to be disinfected periodically. It is important to follow any specific guidelines or regulations for disinfecting surfaces in your particular setting, such as in healthcare facilities or food service establishments. Additionally, it is a good practice to regularly assess and adjust your cleaning and disinfecting routine based on changing circumstances or new information about potential risks.


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      Cleaning & Disinfecting!

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When choosing the right product, 

consider the following:

  1. Surface Type and Material Compatibility
  2. Microorganism Targets and Effectiveness
  3. Contact Time and Residual Activity
  4. Safety and Environmental Impact
  5. Cost and Availability

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Our amazing team of experts is trained to show you everything you need to bring your facility to the next level of cleanliness and safety! 

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