Cleaning, Sanitising and Decontamination, what’s the difference?

office cleaning, commercial cleaning, school cleaning, sanitising, decontamination,

Cleaning, sanitising & decontamination are essential processes in maintaining health & safety in various environments. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually have distinct meanings & purposes. Understanding the differences between them is crucial for ensuring a clean & hygienic space.


Cleaning is the process of removing dirt, dust, & debris from surfaces.   It involves the use of water, soap & mechanical action to physically remove contaminants. Cleaning helps to visually improve the appearance of a surface but may not necessarily kill germs or bacteria. Regular cleaning is important for preventing the buildup of dirt & grime.


Sanitising is the process of reducing the number of germs on a surface to a safe level. It typically involves the use of chemicals or heat to kill bacteria, viruses, & other pathogens. Sanitising is important for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and maintaining a hygienic environment. Common sanitising agents include bleach, alcohol & hydrogen peroxide.


Decontamination is the process of removing or neutralising dangerous substances, such as chemicals or biological agents, from a surface.  It is often used in more specialised settings, such as healthcare facilities or laboratories. Decontamination may involve the use of disinfectants, sterilisation procedures, or specialised equipment. The goal of decontamination is to eliminate hazardous materials & prevent contamination.

While cleaning, sanitising & decontamination all play a role in maintaining clean & safe environments, they each serve a unique purpose. By understanding the differences between these processes & implementing them appropriately, you can ensure that your space is both visually clean & free from harmful germs.