Clean vs. cleanseClean - definition of clean by The Free Dictionary https: Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled: Clean cleans from foreign matter or pollution; unadulterated: Producing relatively little cleean Producing relatively little radioactive fallout or contamination: Having no imperfections or blemishes; regular or even: Not ornate clean cleans intricate; spare:
clean, cleanest, cleaned, cleaning, cleaner, cleans- WordWeb dictionary definition
I would say that "cleaning" normally involves removing dirt and blemishes from the surfaces of an object, while "cleansing" refers to removing impurities from the object as a whole.
To borrow one of Damkerng's examples, an herbal remedy may claim to "cleanse the body, removing harmful toxins"; I would take that to mean that if I ingest it, it will eliminate said toxins from my innards. If the herbal remedy claimed only to "clean your body, removing harmful toxins", I would interpret that as something to put in my bath so that my skin no longer has harmful toxins clinging to it; a much less powerful statement.
Similarly, a product that cleans my skin may leave it with no dirt but all the pimples, warts, corns, age-spots, and wrinkles that were always there. A product that cleanses my skin should at the very least be eliminating all of the conditions that would normally cause pimples, warts, etc. Both clean and cleanse have a similar meaning: Even Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the definition of cleanse as "clean". Personally, when someone uses the word cleanse , it usually means something beyond just clean.
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