There are many differences between sanitizing and disinfecting. In discussions, the terms sanitizing and disinfecting are frequently swapped since people have the misconception that these words mean the same thing.
What is a disinfectant? What is a sanitizer? We have recently been using hand sanitizer and disinfectant sprays. These things so sound similar. Let’s find out the differences.

Definitions

According to the CDC, a disinfectant is “usually a chemical agent (but sometimes a physical agent) that destroys disease-causing pathogens or other harmful microorganisms but might not kill bacterial spores”. It refers to any substances applied to inanimate objects. The EPA groups disinfectants by product label claims of “limited,” “general,” or “hospital” disinfection”. From the legal standpoint of the EPA, disinfectants must reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999% during a time frame greater than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes.
A sanitizer, as stated by the CDC,  “is a chemical that reduces the number of microorganisms to a safe level. It doesn’t need to eliminate 100 percent of all organisms to be effective. Sanitizers do not kill viruses and fungi, and in a food-service situation, the sanitizer must reduce the bacteria count by 99.999 percent. They are required to kill 99.999 percent of the infectious organisms present within 30 seconds.”

What To Use Where?

The type of cleaner you want to use depends on where you will be cleaning.
  • Food-service areas –  sanitizers.
  • Medical facilities – disinfectants
  • Green cleaning – cleaners with the least impact to the environment
  • Remove soil – all-purpose cleaner

There’s More!

ISSA cited a new study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection. They found “using surface disinfection with a solution of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite of 62-71% ethanol significantly reduces coronavirus infectivity on surfaces within 1 min exposure time.”
Here you can find the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for COVID-19.
Contact us for questions or cleaning.