The two words, disinfecting and sanitizing, have been ringing in our ears since the outbreak of COVID-19. No matter where you are, it seems every second word we hear is sanitize or disinfect in order to protect yourself from getting affected by this deadly virus.
Is there any difference between disinfecting and sanitizing? Most people think it is the same thing - but is it? Well, let's find out! We discuss the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing right here, so keep on reading.
What is Disinfecting?
Disinfecting refers to killing harmful bacteria and viruses. In disinfecting, users usually use chemicals to fully disinfect surfaces and areas. Many believe in order to disinfect, you have to use toxic chemicals, but this is not true. There are many disinfectants that are safe and non-toxic which are equally effective as harsher options. With advancements in disinfectants, there are safe disinfectants for any space, including kitchens and food contact surfaces.
What is Sanitizing?
Sanitizing refers to lowering the number of germs, bacteria, and viruses, on surfaces to a safe level. A sanitizer is generally defined as a chemical that kills 99.9% of specific test bacteria in a determined amount of time. Sanitizing is a great daily option to include in cleaning processes and is effective in helping to stay safe.
The Difference Between Disinfecting and Sanitizing
As stated above, disinfecting is for killing germs, and sanitizing is for lowering the number of germs.
Many sanitizers are very effective for keeping individuals safe against viruses and bacteria, but the main difference between disinfectants and sanitizing is the concentration of a solution. If you take a disinfectant, for example Vital Oxide, if used at full strength, it is a medical grade disinfectant that is safe and non-toxic, but not necessarily needed for everyday use in most environments. If properly diluted, Vital Oxide also doubles as an effective sanitizer for most surfaces.
Related: Why Not Use Hydrogen Peroxide?
The disinfecting process destroys or inactivates both bacteria and viruses. Apart from killing the germs, the disinfecting process can lower the risk of infections from one person to another. The sanitizing process lowers the number of germs to a very safe level.
Hence, we can easily say that the process of disinfecting is way more effective than sanitizing. For fighting against the deadly COVID-19 virus, disinfecting is more effective and reliable than sanitizing.
The list is long for the sanitizers, and the point is that if you know the difference between disinfectants and sanitizers, you can purchase products accordingly. Visit Health Canada.ca to find the list of sanitizers approved by the government.
Time to Kill
The time it takes to kill germs is one more factor that is important when evaluating both sanitizers and disinfectants, and this must also be listed on a product’s label. Some chemical formulas kill respective germs in 5 minutes and others in just one minute or less. This is called “dwell time” and should be taken into account when choosing and using sanitizers and disinfectants for various applications. As an example, Vital Oxide inside an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer eliminates 99.99% of bacteria in a short time, and does not need to be wiped away.
Now you can say you understand the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting! Sanitizing and disinfecting are the main two guards that can protect us in this tough time. Until a COVID-19 vaccine is out, and even after it does arrive, we are bound to rely on and trust the power of disinfecting and sanitizing.
The EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency) has regulated many disinfectants and sanitizers that are safe to use while remaining effective. Disinfect & Fog offers government authorized disinfectants that are non-toxic and proven to kill 99.99% of germs. Ask us for details.