You should want to keep your commercial business clean and sanitary. Along with dirt, an unclean space can be riddled with viruses, germs, and bacteria. These organisms are harmful and can aid the spread of disease.

A clean space is safer for both employees and customers as it lowers the risk of infections. In addition, it can improve employee morale and boost the reputation of your business.

However, there are many questions an individual can have when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. Each practice has its own procedures and schedules. It is important to know these differences as they can help keep your commercial space safe. 

What is Cleaning?

Cleaning is the act of removing excess amounts of dirt and dust from a surface. It can also remove impurities from surfaces. This can lower the risk of infections, but not fully. Cleaning products are typically less strong and will not kill harmful bacteria completely.

Typical cleaning procedures are:

  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • sweeping
  • dusting

For this, you will need a variety of tools. These include a vacuum cleaner, a mop, a broom, a dustpan, and a duster. 

Alternatively, there is deep cleaning. This is a more diligent and thorough process as it focuses on hard-to-reach places and full sanitization. There are various different deep cleaning procedures. For example, these services may include: carpet cleaning, floor maintenance, and restroom cleaning and Both are important for commercial business spaces. 

When to Clean?

It is recommended that most commercial areas be cleaned daily. Depending on the business size, this number may vary. However, by sweeping and mopping on a daily basis, your business can maintain proper public health safety guidelines. This is a helpful routine to follow as it can lower the number of harmful bacteria. In addition, heavy-traffic areas should be regularly cleaned. Main entrances and hallways can contain significant amounts of dirt and debris. 

Similar to general cleaning, deep cleaning should also occur regularly. It is important to contact a professional cleaning company for deep cleaning services every 3 months. Daily cleaning is quick and can help maintain acceptable office space conditions. However, it may not be thorough enough to fully remove all dirt, grime, and debris. With a consistent schedule, you can ensure that your workplace is safe and healthy.

two cleaners cleaning the office table and floor

What is disinfecting?

Disinfecting is the process of eliminating harmful viruses and bacteria. Typically, this involves using chemical disinfectants. It is important to choose a disinfecting product that does not include harsh chemicals. These can damage flooring and leave strong odors. Along with cleaning, disinfecting is an essential part of maintaining a safe and healthy commercial space. These areas tend to have high amounts of movement and interaction. Therefore, it can quickly become contaminated with harmful bacteria. 

Typically, you will need disinfectant cleaning supplies such as a chemical disinfectant, a microfiber mop, and safety equipment. Depending on the product, increased amounts of contact time may be required. It is important to note that disinfectants will not remove soils and stains. Therefore, it is important to clean dirty surfaces prior to disinfecting.

What to disinfect?

To begin with, high-touch surfaces are of the utmost importance. They have the highest amount of harmful bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, since those places receive the most contact, they are a hotspot for germ spreading.

Therefore, it is essential to disinfect these surfaces. By doing so, you may be able to prevent the risk of infections. Common high-contact surfaces include door handles, light switches, faucets, elevator buttons, desks, and stair rails. Due to COVID-19, these places may need to be disinfected multiple times a day. 

Floors are another surface that should be disinfected regularly. Shoes can contain a significant amount of germs, viruses, and bacteria. With people walking around, it can be quite easy for harmful microorganisms to spread. Also, it is impossible to know where individuals are coming from and how clean that area was. Therefore, routine disinfection can help keep everyone safe.

Cleaning the doorknobs

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: What’s the difference?

In the table below, we will discuss the main differences between cleaning and disinfecting. This information is important to know as it can help you maintain a healthy environment. 


Typically, all dirty surfaces should be cleaned.Similarly, all areas should be disinfected. In particular, high-touch surfaces and public places. This includes office spaces and hospitals.

Cleaning can remove visible dirt, dust, and grime. It may not be completely effective in killing germs.Disinfecting is effective in killing viruses and bacteria.

You should clean commercial spaces daily. Typically, commercial spaces should be disinfected weekly. However, high-contact surfaces may require daily disinfection.

This involves: sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, wiping, dusting, and scrubbing.You should thoroughly apply disinfectant products with a microfiber mop or cloth. In addition, the adequate contact time should be given.
Products UsedGenerally, you can use soap, warm water, or a mild cleaning product.Chemical disinfectants consisting of isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide may be used. 
PurposeThis is meant to remove impurities from surfaces.This will kill all harmful germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Safety Concerns When used properly, cleaning products are safe to use. It is important to read product labels as they will tell you how to safely use and store the product.There are more safety concerns when using disinfectants. They may contain strong chemicals and should be applied in an area with proper airflow.
Time RequiredResults are quicker to appear when cleaning.Certain disinfectant cleaning supplies can take longer. Product labels may state the need for increased contact times.

Why Cleaning and Disinfecting Are Both Important

In order to properly disinfect a surface, you must clean it first. Disinfectants are not effective against breaking through soils and stains – cleaning products are. Therefore, you should clean an area first, removing any visible dirt and dust. Then, you should thoroughly apply chemical disinfectants.

This will completely kill any viruses and bacteria. By disinfecting a surface after cleaning, you can maintain a healthy environment and lower the spread of diseases. 

FAQs About Cleaning vs. Disinfecting

Which comes first, cleaning or disinfecting?

Cleaning should always come first.

What is the difference between an all-purpose cleaner and a disinfectant?

All-purpose cleaners are meant to remove dirt and grime from a surface. Disinfectant products will kill any harmful microorganisms.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19?

Cleaning will not kill viruses and bacteria. In order to properly maintain a safe environment and prevent the risk of COVID-19, you should routinely disinfect any high-contact and heavy-traffic surface after cleaning.

This is How You Can Learn More

We understand how important it is to keep a healthy space for employees and customers. At Dallas Janitorial Services, we have the ability and expertise to ensure that your commercial space is safe.