Proper Way of Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

correct order of steps for cleaning

Cleaning has always been part of our daily routine whether in our homes or offices. Seeing your surroundings tidy and clutter-free has numerous positive effects, noticeable or not. In order to not waste one’s efforts from cleaning, you would most likely follow a certain procedure to obtain maximum results.

However, some people are still unaware of the correct order of steps for cleaning and sanitizing resulting in a less effective cleaning result. You must know that knowing the correct sequence of actions is crucial for your employees’ and customers’ health, especially during this pandemic. It is now considered a legal necessity to maintain a properly clean, sanitized, and disinfected environment.

Cleaning VS Sanitizing VS Disinfecting

Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are often used interchangeably. That’s why most people think that all these three words have the same meaning. However, that is not true. These three words have different meanings from one another. Among these three words, cleaning happens first, sanitizing second, and lastly, disinfecting.

Cleaning is the process of removing physical dirt from any surface, such as tables, and floors. This prevents the accumulation of dirt where germs, bacteria, and viruses can grow and survive. To make things clearer, cleaning often uses detergent or dishwashing soap to wipe any surface. It has been proven effective in removing large particles of food residue or trash. Another common example of cleaning is sweeping the floor and wetting the surface with water and detergent.

Unlike cleaning, sanitizing ensures that no bacteria would survive on any surface. Preventing disease-causing bacteria are reduced to safer levels allowing minimal to no threat to your employees and customers. An example of sanitizing is wiping a surface using a diluted bleach solution. Not only is bleach effective in killing bacteria, but it’s also inexpensive.

Although sanitizing kills bacteria, it’s still not enough to prevent viruses from spreading. Disinfecting, on the other hand, is the process of killing bacteria, and viruses. It is considered superior to sanitizing when it comes to preventing disease-causing organisms from spreading. This process is often used in healthcare settings for they should not allow their tools, used on patients, to have bacteria or viruses.

Importance of Sanitizing or Disinfecting after Cleaning

As mentioned above, cleaning has always been part of our daily routines, but is sanitizing or disinfecting after cleaning really that important? Yes, it is important. You can only say that you’ve achieved your cleaning goals when most bacteria, germs, and viruses present in your environment have been eliminated. Killing germs, bacteria, and viruses cannot be achieved by mere cleaning.

At present, sanitizing and disinfecting have been practiced by mostly everyone since the pandemic. Some might think that it’s a hassle, but we assure you that positive impacts are attached to performing sanitizing or disinfecting. The extra time and effort you spend on performing them won’t be put to waste. Below are some of the benefits of sanitizing or disinfecting.

Removes Pathogens

Pathogens are one of the organisms that bring disease to whoever immune system it enters. Their main purpose is survival and reproduction. If you have a weak immune system, your body will immediately fall sick.

Enhance the odor in your office or homes

Every enclosed space has an odor whether it’s your house, office, the mall, or your parents’ house. It goes without saying that a clean closed space has clean air. This results in an enhanced odor inside the room. Although eliminating odor is impossible, reducing it is possible as long as you continue to perform the correct order of steps for cleaning and sanitizing regularly.

Helps in decreasing respiratory issues

Eliminating pathogens not only means reduced chances of catching a disease but also decreased respiratory issues. Pathogens can enter a human’s body through the distal airway by inhalation, aspiration or by hematogenous seeding. This affects a person’s lung function, that’s why eliminating them also reduces respiratory issues.

Reduces stress levels

Some of you might not believe it, but having a clean environment improves a person’s mood. Others even consider cleaning as a stress reliever helping them reduce their stress levels, together with anxiety, and depression symptoms resulting in an improved mental state. We all know that a messy and disorganized space annoys us easily, because of the physical hindrance and mental distraction it provides.

Correct Order of Steps for Cleaning and Sanitizing

proper way of cleaning

To make things easier for you, we have listed down the 5 phases of cleaning and sanitizing or disinfecting to help you achieve the cleaning results that you want.

  1. Get rid of food bits or dirt on the surface
  2. Wipe the surface using a cleaning agent
    • Detergents
    • Degreasers
    • Abrasives
    • Acids
  3. Rinse the surface to remove leftover solution
  4. Sanitize/Disinfect to properly kill bacteria and viruses
  5. Allow the surface to air dry according to product instructions

Things to consider when buying cleaning and sanitation products


Proper cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection are not enough to keep your surroundings germ, bacteria, and virus-free because knowing what type of product you’re using is also crucial. Knowing the purpose of the product will give you optimal results.

Drug Identification Number (DIN)

There are a lot of cleaning products out there, so ensuring that you’re using safe-to-use products is one of your responsibilities. Ensuring that the cleaning product you’re about to purchase has a DIN will guarantee your safety. A product with a DIN informs consumers that the product has undergone certain tests and passed them.


Knowing when to use the product is one of the crucial steps in achieving optimal results. If a product indicates a pre-clean instruction, make sure to use it before you start the cleaning process. Otherwise, use it after you’re finished cleaning.

Contact Time

Disinfectants and other cleaning products have proper contact time to efficiently kill those germs and viruses chilling on your office and house surfaces. Most people tend to do the “spray and wipe” method which only wastes your energy and effort, so stop assuming how the product works and start reading what’s written on the bottle.

Considering all the above information before you start your next cleaning and sanitizing schedule would help you maintain a tidy and clutter-free space. Remember, knowing the correct order of steps for cleaning and sanitizing is crucial. As well as, being knowledgeable regarding your chosen cleaning products to ensure your employees’ and customers’ safety and well-being.

At Burgos Cleaning, we ensure all important parts of your office are in top condition and create a comfortable working environment. We offer our services in Connecticut (Fairfield, Hartford, and Litchfield County) and provide numerous office cleaning services on the commercial level from small businesses to big buildings and complexes. Contact us now to avail the best commercial cleaning services in town!