What Is The Difference Between Sanitizing And Disinfecting

What Is The Difference Between Sanitizing And Disinfecting?

Posted on : 08/17/21 Posted by :

The terms sanitizing and disinfecting are considered the same by many people. Still, one should know some significant differences about these terms in this serious pandemic situation of Corona Virus spreading. While both disinfecting and sanitizing have the same objective of cleaning the surfaces, the truth is that they differ from each other in many aspects. Read on to know the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting and which is effective in removing or killing germs.

What Is A Sanitizer?

Sanitization is a process in which all the germs are destroyed or eliminated from the surface. All the microbial life is eliminated in the process, and various approved chemicals are used. In the sanitization process, sanitizer is used, which helps in cleaning the surfaces.

What Is A Disinfectant?

Disinfectant is a process in which all the pathogens, bacteria on the inanimated objects are removed. The process is usually carried out using chemicals or wet pasteurization. Disinfecting is not a routine process like sanitization and is most commonly used in hospitals where bodily fluids are used.

When To Sanitize?

Surfaces that do not come in contact with dangerous bacteria can be sanitized and cleaned using the best and powerful chemicals. Cooking tools, toys of children are the best options for sanitization as these do not come in contact with powerful chemicals.

When To Disinfect?

As said above, disinfection cannot be a routine process but is meant to get protection from bodily fluids, making it more common in medical settings. Disinfectants can be used for cleaning house surfaces and toilets, but overuse of disinfectants can lead to harmful environmental hazards.

Key Difference Between Sanitizing And Disinfecting

1. Germs Specifications

It is important to note that a single sanitizer or disinfectant cannot kill all microbes or bacteria individually. It is necessary to know which sanitizer or disinfectant works on which type of bacteria or microorganism and use them accordingly.

2. Time Taken For Removal Or Killing of Germs

For any specific chemical, there is some amount of time needed to remove the killing of germs. The time taken is referred to as a dwell time which could be ranged from 1 minute to 5 minutes based on the specification given by the manufacturer. The dwell time should be taken into account when choosing any disinfectant or sanitizer used for various applications.

3. Cleaning The Surfaces

Disinfecting is used for killing bacteria and does not remove dirt from the surfaces. Sanitizing also lowers the risk of bacteria to a safe level as recommended by the health care standards.

4. Place Of Usage

Sanitizing is the process of lowering the bacteria, so this is mostly used for household purposes. There is no need for killing off germs but the need for lowering bacteria. Disinfection is mostly used in hospitals or bathrooms where there is frequent contamination and a need to kill germs or bacteria.

Process Of Disinfecting Or Sanitizing

There are some essential steps to be followed while using sanitizers and disinfectants.

  • Always wear disposable gloves while using chemicals and discard them after completion of work.
  • Use soap or detergent to clean the surfaces before starting the process
  • For Disinfecting, it is recommended to use diluted household bleach solutions or 70% alcohol solutions and always use EPA-approved disinfectants.
  • Sanitization is also recommended for modern equipment like dishwashers or laundry machines. Sanitization is used for reducing the number of germs which is more reliable than the killing of germs.


For the Sanitization or Disinfection process, using suitable chemicals to remove or kill dangerous bacteria or viruses is essential. Protech Safety Supply is the supplier of sanitizers and disinfectants all over North America and Canada. Contact us for more details.

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