Difference Between Disinfect & Sanitize
Aside from cleaning areas of the home, you may opt for a commercial disinfectant or sanitizer in order to kill disease causing viruses and bacteria. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, agents that sanitize and disinfect are different.
Disinfecting involves heat, bleach or commercial products to destroy bacteria on surfaces. Sanitizing agents are designed to destroy germs so that a particular surface is safe enough to use.
When used properly, sanitizers can destroy 99.99 percent of disease-causing germs. However, Schiff Consulting explains that disinfecting methods are superior, as sanitizers can fail in destroying some pathogenic bacteria.
Disinfectants destroy germs between five and ten minutes while sanitizers work within 30 seconds.
All sanitizers and disinfectants should be kept away from children. An alternative to a store-bought disinfectant is bleach. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) recommends that you dilute ¼ cup of bleach per gallon of water.
Surfaces must be cleaned prior to proper disinfecting and sanitizing. Basic soap and water removes grease and dirt.
Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.