puracy cleaning

The Difference Between Cleaning & Disinfecting

Wondering how to properly remove bacteria and germs from your home? See how to use Puracy cleaning & disinfecting products! 

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Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Sean Busch.

Editors Note: Information presented was the most current at the time of publication.

There's no wrong time to clean your home, but to do it right, you need to know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Our guide outlines these distinctions and shows you how to properly use an all purpose cleaner and disinfectant. 

What Is Cleaning?

how to clean a surface

The CDC defines cleaning as, “the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces'', usually by using a cleaning product, water, and agitation with tools (like a brush or towel). There are two major benefits of cleaning:

  1. You'll see a visible “before and after” difference
  2. Messes are cleared away so disinfectants and sanitizers can kill the remaining microbes.

Note: Every surface in your home needs regular cleaning to reduce bacteria, but the dirtiest spots in your house might surprise you.

How to Clean a Surface That's Semi-Porous & Non-Porous

do all purpose cleaners disinfect

High-touch spots like doorknob, faucet handles, cabinets, and countertops are easy to clean with an all-purpose spray.

  1. Clear items from the area.
  2. Apply one spray of Puracy Multi Surface Cleaner to each 2’x2’ square area.
  3. Wait 10-30 seconds.
  4. Wipe with a clean paper towel or a folded microfiber towel using a tight, overlapping z-pattern.
  5. Use tight, overlapping z-patterns to ensure total coverage and eliminate streaks.
  6. Keep folding your microfiber cloth to a clean side. Throw in the washing machine (and wash your hands!) as soon as it's fully saturated.  

Pro Tip: Disposable paper towels aren't eco-friendly but they're great for reducing the spread of germs during flu season.

How to Clean Upholstered Surfaces

how to disinfect soft surfaces

When cleaning soft surfaces like couches, carpets, curtains, and mattresses, start by vacuuming areas to lift as many stain-causing particles as possible. Target spots with our Natural Stain Remover which dissolves and removes thousands of splotches like grass, blood, wine, dirt, and pet accidents. You name it, we've tested it. 

Launder machine-washable items in the warmest water possible or use a carpet cleaner with a natural carpet and upholstery shampoo (then run a cycle with only water). 

Cleaning Soft Surfaces During Times of Sickness

  • Wear disposable gloves and mask when handling clothing or bedding of anyone who is ill.
  • Avoid shaking dirty linens to prevent dispersing germs into the air.
  • Clothing and bedding should be machine-washed on the hottest setting possible.
  • Clean/disinfect clothes hampers.
  • Consider using a disposable or washable hamper liner. 
  • People who spend time in high-traffic areas (like hospitals and supermarkets) should remove their clothes and launder them as soon as arriving home. 

Do All Purpose Cleaners Disinfect?

puracy multi surface cleaner

In addition to clearing goop, gunk, and grime, Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner uses C10-C16 alcohol ethoxylate as an effective alternative to ammonia and petroleum distillates.

While cleaning products don't kill every germ, this is the first step in breaking down – and removing – a number of harmful pathogens that lurk in sticky, wet, and smelly spots. This also improves the effectiveness of your disinfectant. 

Which Home Surfaces Need to Be Disinfected Most?

all purpose cleaner disinfectant

After spot-treating and cleaning surfaces, it’s time to kill remaining microbes. Anything that comes in contact with your hands, food, and the outside world should be regularly disinfected, especially high-traffic areas like:

  • Electronics
  • Children’s furniture and toys
  • Kitchen cutting boards & utensils (dishwashers destroy germs better than hand washing)
  • Countertops and cupboard doors
  • Doors, handles, and packages coming into the home
  • Light switches
  • Faucets
  • Clothing, shoes, backpacks, and handbags
  • Countertops (especially after putting grocery bags or packages on them)

    Note: Before using any home disinfectant, check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it's safe for certain materials.

    Using a Cleaner vs Disinfectant

    puracy disinfectant spray

    Unlike all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizing products use “antimicrobial pesticides” to kill germs. They're regulated by the EPA and pesticide regulation departments in various states. However:

    There is, however, a small difference between the two:

    • Sanitizing products kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, reducing them to a safe level that’s in accordance with EPA standards for efficacy.
    • Disinfecting uses various chemicals (including EPA-registered disinfectants) to kill almost 100% of bacteria and viruses on surfaces.

    How Long Should Disinfectant Sit on a Surface?

    how long should disinfectant sit on a surface

    To disinfect hard surfaces, always follow the exact directions on product labels. If you don’t let your disinfectant sit long enough, it simply can’t do its job.

    For example, our hydrogen peroxide disinfectant kills more than 99.9% of bacteria in 1 minute and 99.9% of viruses within 10 minutes of soaking time.

    How Puracy Disinfecting Surface Cleaner Works

    puracy disinfectant spray

    Some products double as both cleaners and disinfectants – but most aren’t effective at removing dirt and residue. Our CDC-approved, EPA-listed Disinfecting Surface Cleaner kills more than 99.9% of germs and viruses within 10 minutes. It also tackles grimy, sticky, and food-safe surfaces without caustic ingredients like chlorine, ammonia, and bleach.

    In other words, this 2-in-1 cleaner and disinfectant gets the entire job done. And because it's hydrogen peroxide-based, it's totally biodegradable!

    How to Use the Puracy Disinfectant Spray

    Thoroughly spray onto the surface. Let stand for 10 minutes and wipe away with a clean, dry microfiber towel.

    Note: While this product is designed for almost every non-porous surface, we don't recommend it for semi-porous surfaces like wood, soapstone, and marble.

    Disinfecting Semi- and Non-Porous Surfaces

    You can use EPA-endorsed wipes, sprays, and solutions (like Puracy's disinfecting cleaner) or a diluted bleach solution

    • Use a surface cleaner on the material.
    • Follow manufacturer instructions for your disinfecting product.
    • Allow the mixture to sit on surfaces for the recommended period of time.
    • Ensure proper ventilation at all times.

    Note: Be careful not to mix certain chemicals together, especially bleach and ammonia (which produces toxic gas).

    How to Disinfect Upholstered Surfaces

    how to disinfect bedding

    To disinfect soft surfaces and materials (like bedding, clothing, and carpets), the CDC recommends laundering or shampooing them using the hottest water possible. Assuming they’re safe for fabrics, you can also use products that meet the EPA’s criteria for killing SARS-CoV-2.

    How to Disinfect Electronics

    how to disinfect electronics

    A University of Arizona study discovered that the average cell phone contained 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! Luckily, there’s a simple way to kill germs on your electronics:

    1. Turn your device off.
    2. Spray a paper towel with Puracy Disinfecting Surface Cleaner and gently remove dirt and debris.
    3. Once dry, use an alcohol based-wipe or spray which contains at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. Be sure that the product is safe for electronics.
    4. Allow electronics to dry completely before turning them back on.

    Reach for the Best Disinfectant & Cleaners for Your Home

    Puracy cleaners

    Puracy cleaners were developed to be the gentlest, most effective products possible. When you add these cleaning and disinfecting recommendations to your routine, you'll dramatically lessen the chances of spreading bacteria, germs, fungi, and pathogens.