The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

What Does Clean Mean


Cleaning products play an essential role in daily life. They can remove dirt and stains from our clothes, dried on food from our dishes, and even germs from our hands!  Let’s learn more about the chemistry that makes this happen.

What Is Cleaning? 

Cleaning is the process of taking something dirty—like your kitchen counter—and removing dirt, grease, and grime found on it. When we clean, we leave things better than they were when we found them. Cleaning helps remove dirt, microbes (like bacteria and viruses), small amounts of food, and many other soils that we do not want hanging around.

Types of cleaning products

We clean almost everything we touch—from our bodies to our bathrooms and everything in between.

And it is not just at home! Cleaning is needed at schools, in restaurants, at hotels, on buses, and especially in hospitals. The more people or animals that go into a place, the more often it will need to be cleaned.

Places we clean


Learn More About the Science of Cleaning at