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Not to be confused with Cleanness or Cleaning (disambiguation).

Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the process of achieving and maintaining that state. Mahatma gandhi had said that do your work by own. So, cleanliness may be wed with a moral quality, as indicated by the aphorism "cleanliness is next to godliness",[1] and may be regarded as contributing to other ideals such as 'health' and 'beauty'.

In emphasizing an ongoing procedure or set of habits for the purpose of maintenance and prevention, the concept of cleanliness differs from purity, which is a physical, moral, or ritual state of freedom from pollutants. Whereas purity is usually a quality of an individual or substance, cleanliness has a social dimension, or implies a system of interactions.[2] "Cleanliness," observed Jacob Burckhardt, "is indispensable to our modern notion of social perfection."[3] A household or workplace may be said to exhibit cleanliness, but not ordinarily purity; cleanliness also would be a characteristic of the people who maintain cleanness or prevent dirtying.

On a practical level, cleanliness is thus related to hygiene and disease prevention. Washing is one way of achieving physical cleanliness, usually with water and often some kind of soap or detergent. Procedures of cleanliness are of utmost importance in many forms of manufacturing.

As an assertion of moral superiority or respectability, cleanliness has played a role in establishing cultural values in relation to social class, humanitarianism, and cultural imperialism.[4]

Cleanliness is linked with proper hygiene. A person who is said to be clean usually depicts cleanliness.


In Islam[edit]

There are many verses in the Quran which discuss cleanliness. For example, “…Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean” (2:222). And, “…In mosque there are men who love to be clean and pure. Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure” (9:108).

First lessons in Islamic manuals of catechism are matters of cleanliness. Subjects taught first in the book of cleanliness include: which are clean, what is clean and what is not clean, what people need to be cleansed from, how they should clean, and which water should they use to clean. Muslims are required to perform ablution (wudu) before every prayer, and are recommended to stay in the state of ablution at all times. A ritual bath (ghusl) is performed on Fridays before the Friday Prayer (Juma). Ritual baths are recommended for spiritual purity, also after committing a sin, and are necessary for those who have washed a funeral. Special attention is given to cleaning homes before the arrival of guests or before feasts (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), and holy days and nights. Laundry is usually not done on Fridays, the holy day.


Cleanliness is the precondition of some sorts of worshiping; it is also the indispensable condition of health and hygiene. Besides, it makes the sustenance increase.The following is stated in a Hadith: 'Keep cleaning so that your sustenance will increase'. It will be wrong to limit cleanliness to body cleanliness only.The cleanliness of heart, honest and high ethics are as important as cleaning your body in Islam.As a matter of fact,the worshiping of a person whose intentions are not clean will not be sincere; therefore, it would not be accepted by God.Therefore, to be a true Muslim, cleanliness of heart as well as body are necessary.The Prophet in fact said that: "Islam was built on the foundations of cleanliness"[5][6]


In Hinduism, cleanliness is an important virtue, and all Hindus must have taken a bath before entering temples in order to seek blessings. They also wash their feet before entering the temple as according to the Puranas, the demon kali is believed to reside on the hind of the feet. In some Orthodox Hindu households, taking a bath after visiting a funeral is required as some hindus believe that it is an inauspicious thing to witness and the in-auspiciousness would follow. This is also related to the pollution of the River Ganges.

Hindus also clean their homes particularly well in preparing to celebrate Diwali each year as they believe that it brings good luck. Most Hindus also believe that keeping your house clean and great devotion are gestures to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi to their abode to stay. Some orthodox Hindus refrain from cleaning their houses on a Friday as it is a day dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and cleaning homes on that day is considered inauspicious, so they are allowed to clean their homes on the rest of the days. Tamil people also keep their homes clean in preparation for diwali, pongal or bhol.


Main article: Hygiene

Since the germ theory of disease, cleanliness has come to mean an effort to remove germs and other hazardous materials. A reaction to an excessive desire for a germ-free environment began to occur around 1989, when David Strachan put forth the "hygiene hypothesis" in the British Medical Journal. In essence, this hypothesis holds that dirt plays a useful role in developing the immune system; the fewer germs people are exposed to in childhood, the more likely they are to get sick as adults. The valuation of cleanliness, therefore, has a social and cultural dimension beyond the requirements of hygiene for practical purposes.


In industry, certain processes such as those related to integrated circuit manufacturing, require conditions of exceptional cleanliness which are achieved by working in cleanrooms. Cleanliness is essential to successful electroplating, since molecular layers of oil can prevent adhesion of the coating. The industry has developed specialized techniques for parts cleaning, as well as tests for cleanliness. The most commonly used tests rely on the wetting behaviour of a clean hydrophilic metal surface. Cleanliness is also important to vacuum systems to reduce outgassing. Cleanliness is also crucial for semiconductor manufacturing.[7]

See also[edit]

See also: the categories Cleaning tools and Cleaning products.


  1. ^ Suellen Hoy, Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 3.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Shove, Comfort, Cleanliness, and Convenience: The Social Organization of Normality (Berg, 2003), p. 80.
  3. ^ Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, as quoted by Douglas Blow, The Culture of Cleanliness in Renaissance Italy (Cornell University Press, 2006), p. 1.
  4. ^ Kathleen M. Brown, Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (Yale University Press, 2009), p. 327; Iris Marion Young, "The Scaling of Bodies and the Politics of Identity," as excerpted in From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, edited by Lawrence E. Cahoone (Blackwell, 2003, 2nd ed.), p. 372; Nancy Cook, Gender, Identity, and Imperialism: Women Development Workers in Pakistan (Macmillan, 2007), p. 141.
  5. ^ "Cleanliness - Islam Guidance". Retrieved 2015-11-15. 
  6. ^ Sultan-Bahoo-The-Life-and-Teachings. Sultan ul Faqr Publications. 2015. ISBN 9699795182. 
  7. ^ C. Y. Chang and Francis Kai, GaAs High Speed Devices: Physics, Technology, and Circuit Applications (John Wiley, 1994), p. 116.