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disinfect v. sanitize

I never post on this board, but I had a question I thought you could help with.  I was reading the back of some of my cleaning products and there are different directions to sanitize v. disinfect something.  What is the difference?  I can assume that disinfecting is getting rid of more bad things, but then why would anyone choose to just sanitize when they can disinfect?
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Re: disinfect v. sanitize

  • Sanitize: To reduce the number of microbial contaminants to a safe or relatively safe level as may be judged by public health requirements or to a significant degree where public health standards have not been established.

    Disinfection: The destruction of pathogenic or other harmful microorganisms or the inactivation of viruses.  Usually refers to the vegetative forms of pathogenic bacteria, but not necessarily bacterial spores.

    Both of these processes refer to chemical or physical means applied directly to inanimate surfaces.  Disinfection is generally intended for patient-care items in health care facilities or home care while sanitization generally applies to environmental surfaces not directly involved in patient care.  Sanitization is also the level of antimicrobial activity usually associated with food service and food processing facilities.

     

    From this site


    mutt_zps2fb5f039-1_zps7220f27c
    BFP 11.8.12 * EDD 7.17.13 * MC 12.20.12
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over!
  • image missmis99:
    I never post on this board, but I had a question I thought you could help with.  I was reading the back of some of my cleaning products and there are different directions to sanitize v. disinfect something.  What is the difference?  I can assume that disinfecting is getting rid of more bad things, but then why would anyone choose to just sanitize when they can disinfect?

    I sanitize my floor with a tiny amount of dish soap in warm water...If it's good enough to clean my dishes (that I eat off), then it's good enough to clean my floors.  I don't disinfect my floor because I don't eat off it/rub open wounds upon it.  I think it's better to avoid overkill on the germs, because the chemicals necessary to disinfect something would outweigh the benefits: the harmful chemicals lingering in my home from bleach vs. having a floor I could eat off.

    Hope that helps!

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  • image greengirl09:

    image missmis99:
    I never post on this board, but I had a question I thought you could help with.  I was reading the back of some of my cleaning products and there are different directions to sanitize v. disinfect something.  What is the difference?  I can assume that disinfecting is getting rid of more bad things, but then why would anyone choose to just sanitize when they can disinfect?

    I sanitize my floor with a tiny amount of dish soap in warm water...If it's good enough to clean my dishes (that I eat off), then it's good enough to clean my floors.  I don't disinfect my floor because I don't eat off it/rub open wounds upon it.  I think it's better to avoid overkill on the germs, because the chemicals necessary to disinfect something would outweigh the benefits: the harmful chemicals lingering in my home from bleach vs. having a floor I could eat off.

    Hope that helps!

    Excellent point. And while it may seem that choosing to rid your home of any germs would be a good choice, remember that your immune system's strength is dependent on exposure. Without exposure to develop antibodies your immune system will become inadequate to fight off the germs you do come in contact with.


    mutt_zps2fb5f039-1_zps7220f27c
    BFP 11.8.12 * EDD 7.17.13 * MC 12.20.12
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over!
  • The legal definitions are*:
    • A Disinfectant is a product which completely destroys all specific test organisms in 10 minutes under conditions of the AOAC Use Dilution Test. (these are your kitchen cleaners etc.)
    • A Sanitizer is a product which destroys 99.999% of specified test bacteria in 30 seconds under conditions of the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test (sometimes called Weber & Black Test). You don't really sanitize anything in your home, it is more for commercial applications. The only things I can think of for home use are the purell hand sanitizers and a sanitizing setting on a dishwasher, maybe those steam mops.

    The person above is correct you don't want to sanitize everything.

  • image greengirl09:

    image missmis99:
    I never post on this board, but I had a question I thought you could help with.  I was reading the back of some of my cleaning products and there are different directions to sanitize v. disinfect something.  What is the difference?  I can assume that disinfecting is getting rid of more bad things, but then why would anyone choose to just sanitize when they can disinfect?

    I sanitize my floor with a tiny amount of dish soap in warm water...If it's good enough to clean my dishes (that I eat off), then it's good enough to clean my floors.  I don't disinfect my floor because I don't eat off it/rub open wounds upon it.  I think it's better to avoid overkill on the germs, because the chemicals necessary to disinfect something would outweigh the benefits: the harmful chemicals lingering in my home from bleach vs. having a floor I could eat off.

    Hope that helps!

    You are incorrect about the floor example.

  • Thanks!  The question came up because we had the flu going around our house and I was cleaning up afterwards and that is when it came up.  At that point I just wanted to disinfect everything to get rid of the flu germs.  However, on a daily basis I can see everyone's point about not over doing it.  It makes sense.  Thanks again.
    my read shelf:
    Robin's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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