Whitehouse Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US Department of Homeland Security - Federal Emergency Management Agency

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning with soap and water or a detergent removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting with a household disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARs-CoV-2 kills germs on the surface. By disinfecting or killing germs on a surface after cleaning the surface, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. For more information review cleaning and disinfection recommendations for facilities and homes.

Last updated September 28, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Preventionlinks to external site

See also: Disinfecting and sanitizing