We all care about guests’ health and safety, specially during this global pandemic. Understanding the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting can help your vacation rental (Airbnb) property reach the highest standard of cleanliness.  

There is no one way of delivering a sparkling clean and safe unit.  There are multiple disinfection methods to choose from, apply one it’s right for you and your vacation rental (Airbnb) property.

BUT, first – What is the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?

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CLEANING: Removing Germs

Cleaning a surface simply removes visible debris, dirt, and dust. Even though cleaning alone is great for the health of indoor occupants, it doesn’t kill germs completely. Using only a cloth or wipe along with a detergent or soap, it is a simple process. It’s crucial to use water, soap and rinse often with a clean cloth. Unfortunately, this holds the risk of cross-contamination if not done properly. However, it is a vital step that cannot be skipped, and is ‘the first step’ in a complete cleaning process.

SANITIZING: Reducing Germs

Sanitizing reduces bacteria to decrease the risk of infection – not killing the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This is the next step after removing the germs and dirt from a surface. When you sanitize, you are reducing the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent. Viruses and fungus are still active during this process. 


Disinfecting is appropriate for high-touch surfaces and surfaces likely to harbor pathogens. This process will “kill” the microscopic organisms (except bacterial spores), using chemicals. Still, this leaves dirt and impurities. However, by killing the germs, the risk of spreading infection is lowered. Disinfecting it’s the final step after removing germs and dirt from a surface. 

What are the different types of disinfection available?

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Chemical Wipe Disinfection

The main purpose of wipes is to remove contamination from surfaces. Proper usage of wipes can be an effective intervention for supporting low-risk decontamination. The most common disinfectants in chemical wipes uses alcohol or surface-active disinfectants. Cleancio includes this type of disinfection in all our vacation rental (Airbnb) cleanings for free! 

Pressurized Steam Disinfection 

Pressurized steam disinfection uses no chemicals – only saturated water steam, which is dry steam at 120°C and above. This water is in a gaseous state, continuously superheated, and has incomparable cleaning, degreasing, and disinfecting properties. On top of that, it has a positive impact on both environmental and personal health. While under pressure, the steam acts as a natural disinfectant and degreaser. It kills germs and bacteria and dissolves grease and oil. Cleancio offers this type of disinfection for an additional fee along with our regular cleaning and disinfection services.

UV Disinfection

UV disinfection is effective and is absorbed by the DNA of microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi, and destroys its structure and inactivates living cells within seconds. This is a reliable and environmentally-friendly method, which eliminates the need for chemicals. Moreover, microorganisms cannot become resistant to UV radiation.

All these disinfection methods are effective in killing all types of germs – including the coronavirus.  It all boils down to what method is right for you and your vacation rental (Airbnb) property. This three-step process of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting is recommended by the CDC. The process meets the requirements and standards for vacation rental units and properties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no better time than now to have a spotless germ-free vacation rental (Airbnb) apartment ready for your guests. Parter with Cleancio and schedule a demo today!

Disinfectants kill 99.9% of germs… we clean up the last 1%