Cleaning vs Disinfecting
清洗 vs 消毒

We all want to live in a clean indoor environment, but of course there are degrees of “clean” and different requirements for “clean,” depending on the living space targeted. The “clean your room” chore given to children generally refers to straightening up and organizing stray objects into drawers, closets and onto shelves. It might involve dusting and vacuuming, but it is decidedly different from cleaning a bathroom or kitchen where germs present a more obvious risk.
 
Cleaning

Cleaning accomplished with soap–or detergent–and water, refers to the physical removal of dirt and grime, and in the process, some portion of the germs on a given surface. Sometimes cleaning tools, including sponges and cloths, simply move germs from one surface to another.
 
Disinfecting

On the other hand, refers to killing a high percentage of the germs on a surface or rendering them incapable of reproducing. Sanitizing is another relevant term in this discussion. According to www.flu.gov, sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. The process works by either cleaning or disinfection to reduce the risk of spreading infection.


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