Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting: What’s the Difference?

You might think they are the same thing, but there’s actually a big difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. The first reduces the number of germs on a surface, while the second completely eliminates all germs. 

Keep reading to learn more about the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, when it’s the right time to do one or the other, or give a San Diego disinfecting and cleaning service a call.

What is sanitizing?

Sanitizing includes lowering the number of germs on surfaces or in your whole home. The idea is not to get rid of all of them, but to bring them to a safe level, making it much less likely for those germs to cause illness in an average human under normal circumstances.

What is disinfecting?

The term refers to getting rid of all microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is important for both preventing the spread of illness and protecting vulnerable populations like young children, older people, and people with otherwise weakened immune systems.

When should you sanitize, and when should you disinfect?

With all of the above in mind, it’s easier and better to completely free all surfaces from germs as often as possible and not bother sanitizing them at all. However, this isn’t the case, and here are the reasons.

The methods that are used

Sanitizing is the process of reducing the amount of germs, bacteria, and other microorganisms on surfaces to a safe level. This is usually accomplished with chemical products that contain detergents, alcohol, and other disinfectants. On the other hand,  disinfecting is the process of killing germs, bacteria, and other microorganisms completely. This is usually done with disinfectants that contain chlorine, iodine, and other antimicrobial agents.

Bleach is a common agent used to kill all microorganisms on surfaces, but not only can the chemical itself be dangerous if you don’t pay extra attention to staying safe while disinfecting your home with it – mixing it with anything else except water can be a serious health hazard.

The impact on the body

On top of being more time-consuming and requiring extra safety measures through the process, too much disinfection can in some cases bring more harm than good. 

Many doctors suggest that living in a sterile home can weaken the immunities of average people by not giving their bodies a change to learn how to fight off germs. So when that person goes into a space that isn’t as clean – which is inevitable for most, they are at greater risk of getting ill.

When should you sanitize?

Sanitization should be a regular part of home maintenance, especially that of high-touch surfaces. Countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and appliances should be cleaned as often as possible. A vinegar solution is an excellent homemade cleaning agent that works wonders removing dirt, grime, and stains, and has great sanitizing qualities as well.

When should you disinfect?

It’s important to disinfect your home regularly, especially when someone has been sick or when you are expecting visitors. It’s also wise to do a deep clean of your home after returning from a trip or if you suspect that someone in your area has been exposed to an illness. In addition, a clear sign your house needs disinfection is if it has been exposed to any type of flooding or water damage. This is because the moisture can create an ideal environment for bacteria and mold to grow. 

What is the best San Diego disinfecting and cleaning service?

If you are worried your home needs a thorough disinfection but simply cannot seem to find the time or energy to actually start – it’s time to get in touch with Risk Free Serv. Getting rid of all the microorganisms in your home that can threaten your health has become our specialty. Instead of spending hours and even days to properly disinfect your house, take your family for a picnic at Balboa Park and leave the job to the experts. Contact us today!

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