What is the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting 

Sanitizing or Disinfecting


Sanitizing and disinfecting are similar in that they both aim to kill or remove harmful microorganisms from surfaces and objects. However, there are important differences between the two terms.

Sanitizing refers to the process of reducing the number of harmful microorganisms on a surface or object to a safe level, as determined by public health standards. This is typically done by using chemical or physical methods, such as heating or exposing the surface to a mild cleaning solution. Sanitizing is often used in food service settings, such as restaurants and grocery stores, to ensure that surfaces that come into contact with food are free of harmful bacteria.


Disinfecting, on the other hand, refers to the process of killing or eliminating virtually all harmful microorganisms on a surface or object. This is typically done using chemical agents, such as bleach or alcohol solutions. Disinfecting is often used in medical settings, such as hospitals and doctor’s offices, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It’s also used in homes and public places in a pandemic situations, when the number of harmful microorganisms might have been increased and more strict measures need to be taken to reduce the chances of spreading the illness.


It’s important to note that sanitizing and disinfecting are not the same thing, and the choice of which method to use will depend on the specific situation and the level of risk of microorganism spreading. Sanitizing is a good first step to reduce the number of harmful microorganisms, but it may not be sufficient in high-risk settings where disease prevention is essential. Disinfecting is the process to be used when we are looking to kill those microorganism.

It is also important to note that both sanitizing and disinfecting require proper cleaning and preparation of the surface or object before they are applied. Surfaces should be cleaned and free of visible dirt or debris, and the sanitizing or disinfecting agents should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In conclusion, sanitizing and disinfecting are both methods used to remove harmful microorganisms, but disinfecting is used when we are looking for a higher level of protection and microorganism elimination. Sanitizing is used in places where the risk of contamination is lower, but it still needs to be done to a level of public health standards.

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