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Clean vs Cleanse

Clean, cleanse mean to remove whatever soils, stains, or contaminates from someone or something.

Clean is the word in common and literal use for the removal of foreign matter (as dirt, litter, and debris) typically by washing, sweeping, dusting, or clearing away.

Cleanse in this relation seldom wholly loses some hint of its basic notion of making morally or spiritually pure; it is, therefore, the term of choice when the matter to be removed is or is felt as foul, polluting, or noxious or the action is rather one of purifying than of merely restoring to order, freshness, or neatness; thus, one would clean a house but, more often, cleanse a sickroom; one would cleanse a wound but clean one’s teeth.

Unlike clean, cleanse is common in essentially metaphoric extension in which it always retains the suggestion of removing what is vile, harmful, or obnoxious.