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Cleaning, Disinfecting and Washing – What’s the difference?

When it comes to getting rid of germs in your home and on your body, more is not necessarily better. In fact, too many products or mixing products can be harmful. It’s important to use the right products on the right stuff, and in the right order, to effectively fight germs and give you peace of mind. Be the king or queen of clean and know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and washing to help keep a healthy home and a happy family.


Multi-purpose cleaners are your heavy lifters for removing dirt and impurities off surfaces and wiping them away. They’re cleaning superstars for nearly every surface without using harsh chemicals, making them a more environmentally sensitive choice. And while multi-purpose cleaners themselves do not kill germs, they are an essential first step before using the disinfectants that do! If you could only have one cleaning product in your home, we recommend Amway Home™ L.O.C.™ Multi-Purpose Cleaner that can be used on all washable items and surfaces, even your hands. It’s also super concentrated — a 1 L bottle will refill the 16.9 oz. spray bottle 20 times!  To clean up tougher messes, Amway Home Kitchen Cleaner will whisk away grease, dirt, and grime in one shot without leaving any harmful residue left behind.


These effective chemicals are designed to hit germs where it hurts and kill them off for good. Because of their powerful punch, disinfectants are best used purposefully, not as an overall cleaner. Give germs a one, two punch by first cleaning to wipe and clean the surface of dirt and other particles, then disinfect to kill off any bacteria, viruses, etc. (and be sure to leave enough dry time in between so chemicals don’t mix). We recommend Pursue™ Disinfectant Cleaner Concentrate to kill off 99.9% of 22 different types of viruses, fungi, and bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, and more. Apply to hard surfaces with a wet rag, mop, or sponge, and wait 10 minutes until wiping dry or air dry. For a quick, deodorizing option, try Pursue™ Disinfectant Deodorizer Spray on things like doorknobs, remotes, and light switches.


Similar to surface cleaning, washing applies the same lift and rinse technique to your hands, laundry, and even your produce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.* Be effective by scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds (or sing “Happy Birthday” twice) before rinsing with water. We recommend G&H Protect+™ Concentrated Hand Soap or Bar Soap for a deep clean that doesn’t dry out skin. When washing laundry, use the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and a detergent with safe, effective ingredients, like Amway Home™ SA8™ Liquid Laundry Detergent. Dry items completely or hang outside in the sun. You can clean off fruits and vegetables with a good washing too. Do it safely by using a small amount of Dish Drops Dishwashing Liquid and scrub and rinse thoroughly (check your label for more specific instructions).

What was once a weekly deep clean, has become a daily task. So next time you grab your gloves and spray bottle to tackle dirt, messes, and germs, clean smarter, not harder, and keep these distinctions in mind.


*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention source: