What Is the Difference Between Sanitize and Disinfect?

Difference Between Sanitize and Disinfect

I am sure that you are pretty tired of hearing about all the viruses nowadays, but it is still a very real thing that the world is dealing with. The year 2020 has sent the world into a tail-spin of panic of how to avoid the spread of a highly contagious virus. People were cleaning everything in their home, work office, and even their groceries before they brought the items inside. It was during a time where you could not find [in stores or online] disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towel, Windex, or anything else that would have to do with cleaning your surroundings.

Do we, though; know the difference between sanitize and disinfect? We are so preoccupied with the urgency of making sure no germs are in the air or on any surfaces that we may not even be doing the right thing. In this article, we’re going to be going over the differences between sanitizing and disinfecting something. This is something you’re going to want to pay attention to. With the winter comes flu season, common colds, pneumonia, and other nasty illnesses no one wants.

What Is the Difference Between Sanitize and Disinfect?

Sanitize: To sanitize means to lower or remove the number of germs to a safe level.

Disinfect: To disinfect means to kill the germs. This means it doesn’t necessarily clean or remove the germs, it means that it is killing the germs and lowering the risk of spreading.

After this explanation, you probably are thinking that the two of them sound very similar. Indeed, they are two sides of a coin. But, there is a difference between killing a germ or taking away the ability to spread, and removing the number of germs to a safe level.

When Should You Disinfect Something?

Why is disinfecting so important? Disinfectants are the only EPA-approved products that are able to kill viruses on hard surfaces. Disinfectants are used for both bacterias and viruses, why sanitizing is only meant for bacteria. It’s important to disinfect the hard and nonporous surfaces throughout your home about three times a day. Disinfect surfaces that those with a virus have touched as frequently as possible. If you are looking to disinfect against viruses, be sure to look at the product and ensure that it is EPA-approved for disinfectant.

Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Basic Pack, Crisp Linen, 19 oz (Pack of 2)

When Should You Sanitize Something?

We’ve talked about how disinfectants are better to battle against viruses, so when should you sanitize? Sanitizing items and surfaces should be something that is done before it comes in contact with something contagious. Or better yet, when something not contagious comes in contact with it. One of the best examples of this is sanitizing your kitchen counter before deciding to prepare chicken. Or sanitizing children’s toys or a baby’s crib. Things that aren’t typically going to come into contact with contagious diseases.

Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes, Mandarin, 20 ct, 4 Pack, Packaging May Vary

Is Bleach Considered a Sanitizer or a Disinfectant?

When people are interested in deep cleaning, the idea of bleach comes into case. Is bleach considered a sanitizer or disinfectant? Well, it can be both. This depends on how concentrated the bleach solution is. How diluted is it? This comes into play when determining what it is. The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite and it is effective for killing bacteria, fungus , and viruses. You should refer back to the packaging to determine how to dilute the bleach. The thing to keep in mind is to never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products.

How Do You Avoid Germs?

Besides sanitizing and disinfecting, how do you avoid germs? In a sense, germs seem unavoidable. But, there are plenty of reasons why you should take extra precautions in avoiding germs. And there are ways to take precautions. Such as washing your hands on a regular basis. This means before you eat, after you eat. It’s important to use good soap while washing your hands and avoid touching your face.

Important Things To Know About Cleaning

Here’s what you should know when it comes to the products you are using to clean:

  • Make sure you always store them in the containers that they came in. Do not transfer them to other containers. You should always follow the instructions on the cleaning bottles and pay attention to the warnings on the labels.
  • Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants. That is unless the labels deem it safe to do so. If you combine products such as bleach and ammonia you risk serious injury or even death. So, it’s really important to read those warning labels.
  • Do you need gloves when you’re cleaning? Some products require you to do so, so make sure you read to see which ones you need to wear gloves with. Some cleaning products even require you to use eye protection and it’s important you take these warnings seriously.
  • In the case that you accidentally swallow or inhale a chemical, read the label or seek medical help.
  • Be sure to keep your products out of the way of children or animals. Both don’t know any better and get curious. They also get into places they aren’t supposed to be. Either put your cleaning productions high up where they can’t be touched or make sure to put baby-proof locks on your cabinets to ensure that your little ones are safe.

The Difference Between Sanitize and Disinfect

What did we learn in this article? We learned the differences between sanitizing and disinfecting. You probably didn’t realize that there are differences between the two beforehand and it’s in our hope that you find this article helpful in now knowing the differences. In the fight against viruses and other illnesses, it’s important to do both. It’s also important to read the labels of the cleaning products you purchase. Not only to make sure you are using them right, but to also make sure that the bottle that claims to do what it says it does actually can honor that promise. Knowing what does what will help you stay safe and clean.

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