Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting — What’s the Difference?

— Written By

Confused about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting? There are important distinction between each of these seemingly similar actions. Cleaning removes dirt, sanitizing will destroy some bacteria and viruses, and disinfecting will result in more bacteria and/or viruses being destroyed.

clean sanitize disinfect

Find more information and guidance for maintaining clean spaces at home and minimizing risk at NC State Extension’s COVID-19 Food Safety Resources.

Graphic:  Safe Plates, Mary Yavelak and Natalie Seymour