A clean home is important for good health and wellbeing, but how you clean your home makes a difference.

With health and hygiene a top priority, it’s important to understand how to clean your home effectively.

How should we keep our homes clean?

How we approach cleaning our homes has changed over time.

Powerful chemical formulas with anti-bacterial properties used to sanitise and disinfect our homes were incorporated into daily cleaning routines.

More recently, green and even chemical-free options have become preferable to bringing toxic chemicals into our homes that have shown to have health implications.

But what is the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting?

When should we clean, sanitise and disinfect our homes and how do we do it properly to keep our homes healthy?

What’s the difference between cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting?


People often think disinfecting is cleaning, only better, but disinfecting a surface doesn’t actually clean the surface at all.

In fact, disinfecting a surface that hasn’t been cleaned first won’t work.

Disinfectants are designed to destroy all organisms on a surface, this means using pretty powerful chemicals like bleach that becomes inactive when in contact with dirt.


Like disinfecting, sanitising involves the use of chemicals that destroy organisms and requires a clean surface to work effectively.

Unlike disinfecting, sanitising doesn’t aim to destroy all organisms, just reduce their numbers to a safe level.


Cleaning at its core is removing dirt, grime and bacteria from a surface. Cleaning is also an essential part of disinfecting surfaces.

Cleaning regularly prevents germs from growing to unsafe levels.

Some people use detergents, however with products like ENJO you can clean and physically remove dirt, grime and bacteria from surfaces without chemicals.

Why is it important to know the difference?

Our health.

Disinfecting and sanitising doesn’t replace cleaning.

Keeping our homes clean is something we need to do to stay healthy.

It’s important to remember that disinfecting and sanitising involves chemicals with toxic (and sometimes undisclosed) ingredients that are harmful to touch, ingest and inhale.

Studies have shown that long-term use of chemicals impacts lung function and can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

Understanding how and when you need to clean, sanitise and disinfect means you can keep your home safe and healthy.

When should you clean your home?

For a healthy home, certain cleaning tasks should be carried out daily, like cleaning the dishes, wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

Cleaning your floors, kitchen (including appliances like your oven and fridge), bathroom and dusting your living areas usually forms part of your weekly cleaning routine.

Regular cleaning calls for effective, reliable and time-saving cleaning products so you can maintain a safe home easily.

How to clean your home effectively

As we clean our homes daily, choosing to clean chemical-free helps minimise contact with harsh chemicals while effectively keeping your home clean and safe.

A chemical-free cleaning routine improves your home’s overall indoor air quality, it also means no chemical surface contact time and no rinsing, making cleaning super quick and easy.

ENJO’s patented ENJOtex fibres lift, trap and remove dirt from surfaces with just water.

Unlike chemical cleaning products, ENJO fibres don’t kill bacteria, but they do physically remove bacteria to safe levels effectively.

When should you disinfect your home?

Disinfecting involves the use of toxic chemicals like bleach and is usually recommended for surfaces in healthcare facilities like hospitals.

Disinfecting your home isn’t necessary as part of your regular cleaning routine.

However, when someone is sick you may choose to disinfect surfaces that come into contact with bodily fluids to prevent the spread of pathogenic germs.

How to disinfect your home safely

It’s important to remember that bleach doesn’t clean a surface and easily becomes inactivated by organic material.

Surfaces are required to be cleaned thoroughly before you disinfect.

Common disinfectants like bleach are harmful to touch, ingest and breathe in. It’s important to note warning labels, and it’s recommended you wear a mask, rubber gloves and goggles, and to keep the area well-ventilated.

Follow the label instructions carefully, improper use (stronger or weaker solutions) may reduce the effectiveness or cause injury.

Diluted bleach requires 10–60 minutes contact time to effectively kill organisms, keep windows open before, during and after use.

When should you sanitise your home?

Sanitising requires a more diluted bleach solution compared to disinfecting.

If someone at home is sick, you may choose to sanitise surfaces that you touch regularly around the home, such as door handles and light switches.

In a healthy household, simply cleaning door handles and light switches (in addition to good handwashing) is good practice to keep your home healthy.

How to sanitise your home safely

Always remember to clean surfaces thoroughly first, this is an important step to ensure the product you’re using works effectively.

Follow the instructions carefully, including contact time and note warning labels before use.

Open windows to keep the area well ventilated and make sure you thoroughly rinse chemical residue.

Tips for keeping your home clean and safe

Remember to clean high-contact surfaces

There are areas of the home that can be neglected in our regular cleaning routine. Make sure you wipe down high contact surfaces like handles, switches, remote controls and benchtops. Staying on top of your cleaning routine prevents germs from growing to unsafe levels.

Wash your hands regularly

We touch our faces on average 23 times an hour. Washing your hands frequently using proper handwashing technique and keeping surfaces you touch regularly (including your phone) clean helps prevent the spread of germs.

Follow expert advice if someone is unwell

When someone is unwell it’s important to follow expert advice to prevent the spread of germs. This is especially important during a worldwide pandemic.

Keep your home well ventilated

If you’re using chemicals to disinfect your home remember to follow instructions carefully. Never mix different chemicals, store them safely and keep your home well ventilated.