When it comes to cleaning, the words sanitize and disinfect are frequently used interchangeably. However, in actuality, there’s a significant difference between the two terms. Knowing the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting can allow you to be aware of exactly what cleaning products to purchase, and how to use them to keep your home a clean and safe environment.
We looked at what the experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had to say on the subject. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing.
Sanitize vs. Disinfect
While cleansing refers to simply removing dirt and other impurities from a face, sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing go far beyond this to eliminate harmful bacteria. Understanding the difference between these heavy cleaning conditions helps to safely and effectively utilize our cleaning services in Dallas.
According to the CDC, sanitizing refers to lowering the number of germs onto a surface into a safe level, “as judged by public health standards or requirements.” This process works either via cleaning (which removes germs from surfaces) or disinfecting (which destroys germs). Sanitizing is normally a little more gentle than disinfecting.
So while sanitizing refers to lowering the number of germs to a safe level by cleaning or disinfecting, disinfecting itself refers to killing nearly 100 percent of germs on surfaces or objects, or any other areas according to the CDC. This works by using chemicals to destroy germs. Disinfecting does not automatically clean dirty surfaces, but it will kill germs, helping to decrease the chance of infection.
When to Sanitize
It’s best to sanitize surfaces that don’t normally come into contact with harmful germs or those that are washed without strong chemicals. By way of instance, cooking tools or children’s toys would be best for sanitization, as you don’t need those coming into contact with strong and powerful chemicals.
- What is Considered a Sanitizer?
To be considered a sanitizer (like that $5 Amazon bestseller), a product must reduce bacteria on a surface by at least 99.9 percent, according to the EPA. A simple water and shore solution could be a sanitizer or a disinfectant, depending on the concentration of bleach at the solution. Solutions with greater concentrations of bleach are going to be a disinfectant, whereas lower concentrations are more likely to be a sanitizer.
When to Disinfect
Unlike sanitizing, disinfecting will not be a super common part of your cleaning regimen. It’s really intended for serious messes such as those involving bodily fluids, making it more common in medical settings.
What does it mean to your household cleaning? You’ll probably want to disinfect items like toilets or sinks which can come into contact with harmful bacteria. You’ll also need to disinfect high-touch areas like doorknobs and taps. The overuse of disinfectants can lead to damaging health and environmental consequences. In this, you should hire commercial cleaning in Dallas for more cleanly and disinfect your areas.
- What’s Considered a Disinfectant?
According to EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) criteria, a disinfectant (such as this Bestselling hospital-grade disinfectant) have to kill 99.999 percent of bacteria, compared to 99.9 percent for sanitizers. Although this difference might seem minimal, it may make a big difference in reducing the spread of disease.
Is Bleach a Sanitizer or Disinfectant?
Bleach can be used as a disinfectant or a sanitizer, depending on how concentrated the bleach solution is. Everything comes down to just how much it’s diluted. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is effective in killing bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Refer to the instructions on the packaging to how to dilute bleach. And keep in mind, never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner.
And What About Sterilizing?
Sterilization is an entirely different beast, and it’s not something that the average person will need to do in their home. According to the CDC, sterilization is the process of destroying or eliminating all forms of microbial life.
It is frequently completed in health-care facilities using chemical or physical methods such as steam under pressure, dry heat, EtO gasoline, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and liquid chemicals. These extreme forms of decontamination are necessary for things like surgery, or in certain environments like laboratories or hospitals.
The main difference between the two is disinfection is the process of eliminating all harmful microorganisms, while sterilization is your process of killing microorganisms.
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