What’s the Difference Between Sanitizers and Disinfectants?

In the past few months, you must have heard two words very frequently- Sanitizers and Disinfectants. While both the words are used interchangeably, it is very important that you must learn the difference between them and there is no better time to do this than now.

You will learn:

This post covers all the major aspects about sanitizers and disinfectants that will enable you to use them flawlessly for your protection against the virus.

1. Sanitizers vs. Disinfectants

Sanitizer and disinfectants are two different hygiene agents. While sanitizers are available to reduce the bacteria on any surface by minimum 99.9%, disinfectants work on a wide range of microorganisms, killing them with efficacy.

In layman’s language, disinfectants cover a larger group of microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, germs and more. However, the use of both sanitizers and disinfectants is unique to the purpose, surface and many other factors.

2. What makes them different?

A number of factors differentiate Sanitizers from Disinfectants including:

  • EPA Certification:

    EPA is an abbreviation used for the Environmental Protection Agency that regulates both Sanitizers and Disinfectants. The agency checks sanitizers and disinfectants to ensure they meet the pre-defined criteria for safe and effective usage. Any product that is labeled as a sanitizer or a disinfectant must have EPA’s approval for the same. A non-EPA certified chemical substance can be harmful to use and hence illegal to sell and manufacture.

  • Germ Specificity:

    It is imperative that sanitizers and disinfectants are tested for their efficacy against a range of germs. The product label has details of the germs that the particular chemical is effective against. It is very important that you know which disinfectant or sanitizer kills which germs it is not possible for any sanitizer or disinfectant spray to kill all types of germs. While sanitizers are effective against bacteria only, disinfectants work on a range of microorganisms including viruses, mold, mildew, and fungi.

  • Time to kill:

    Another critical information that you can find on the chemical product label is time to kill. Some chemical agents can kill the germs in 5 minutes while others may take a lot less time. The time taken by the chemical to kill germs and bacteria is termed as ‘Dwell time’. This is a key consideration to keep in mind as you shop for sanitizers and disinfectants. The best sanitization services providers use chemicals that have the minimum dwell time.

3. The right use of Sanitizers & Disinfectants.

It is very important that you know when to use sanitizer and when disinfectants. Usually, disinfectants are used primarily for frequently touched surfaces and sanitizers for soft surfaces. Hand sanitizers, fruits and vegetable sanitizers as well as laundry sanitizers are frequently being used by homeowners. However, for disinfectants, it is better to hire professional disinfectant services to get the best results.

Both sanitizers and disinfectants are very important to fight the viruses and bacteria surrounding us. With in-depth information about the chemicals, you can understand what is best to use when and how to achieve the best results.

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