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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Several cleaning methods
Hand washing (part of hygiene)
A dry cleaning machine

Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning is often performed for aesthetic, hygienic, functional, safety, or environmental protection purposes. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, and uses many different methods. Several occupations are devoted to cleaning.


Cleaning occurs in various commercial, domestic, personal, and environmental contexts, which differ in scale and requirements.


A shop assistant washing a shop window in Jyväskylä, Finland in the 1960s.

Cleaning is broadly achieved through mechanical action and/or chemical processes (usually solvation); many methods rely on a combination of mechanical and chemical action. Methods include:

Cleaning by item[edit]

Surface cleaning in art conservation
Laundry in a river
Teeth cleaning

Some items and materials require specialized cleaning techniques, due to their shape, size, location, or the material properties of the object and contaminants.

Buildings and infrastructure[edit]

Other items[edit]

Occupations involving cleaning[edit]

Several occupations involve cleaning, either in their entirety or among other duties.

See also[edit]


Biology and health[edit]



Other contexts[edit]