Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Disinfect and Sanitize

Disinfect vs Sanitize

A lot of people have already realized that maintaining good health is very important. If you are healthy, you can avoid spending your hospital emergency expenses. To achieve optimum health, you and your environment should always be beaming with cleanliness. With a clean environment, you can avoid catching harmful bacteria and other microbes. Among the ways of keeping the environment clean is to disinfect and to sanitize. “Disinfect” is not the same as “sanitize.” In this article, we will clear up all of the misunderstandings regarding these two different terms.

When you disinfect, you use a chemical that can completely destroy all microbes. The chemical is called a disinfectant. Depending on what kind of microbe a particular disinfectant can kill, the surface remains microbe-free. Most disinfectants can kill bacteria and pathogens that can cause several diseases. However, when you disinfect, the viruses and fungi present on the surface might not be eliminated. According to the EPA’s guidelines, a disinfectant should reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999 percent during a time frame of greater than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes. Disinfecting does not only involve the use of disinfectants such as bleach products. When you disinfect, you can also involve heat to destroy pathogenic bacteria on surfaces.

On the other hand, when you sanitize, you use a chemical sanitizer. With a sanitizer, you can only reduce the number of microbes to a safe level. Like disinfectants, sanitizers can’t kill viruses and fungi. Most restaurants and other dining areas have sanitizers to ensure the safety of their customers. According to the EPA’s guidelines, a sanitizer should kill 99.999 percent of the infectious organisms present within 30 seconds.

The disinfecting and sanitizing processes can both reduce the microbes to a 99.99 percent level. However, disinfecting is regarded as the superior cleaning process since it can also kill the spores of the microbes. Spores are like the root of all evil. When the spores still exist, the microbes can start multiplying again. Sanitizers can kill the superficial microbes but not their spores.

Disinfectants and sanitizers are preferred depending on the setting of the area. Disinfectants are greatly favorable for medical settings. Since medical settings always need to be free from pathogenic microbes, disinfectants are highly advised to be used. If you own a restaurant or a fast food chain, sanitizing the area would already be enough. However, both disinfectants and sanitizers can harm the environment. If there is no need to use them, just in ordinary cleaning you can use an all-purpose cleaner instead or mere soap and water.

The chemicals used to disinfect and sanitize are also harmful. Be sure to keep them in a safe and locked place. Avoid your children getting in touch with those chemicals. They might accidentally drink it or spill it on themselves. Before you disinfect or sanitize any surface, you should clean the surfaces first with soap and water. The disinfectants and sanitizers are like the final process to your problem with unclean surfaces. Remove first the soiled items on the surfaces before applying the disinfectant or sanitizer.

Summary:

  1. When you disinfect, you use a chemical that can completely destroy all microbes. The chemical is called a disinfectant.

  2. On the other hand, when you sanitize, you use a chemical sanitizer. With a sanitizer, you can only reduce the number of microbes to a safe level.

  3. The disinfecting and sanitizing processes can both reduce the microbes to a 99.99 percent level. However, disinfecting is regarded as the superior cleaning process since it can also kill the spores of the microbes.


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