Difference between Sanitizing and Disinfecting

by Ron P on September 30, 2011

in Cleaning Business


Office Cleaning – Earn $54,000 part-time

In the cleaning industry, there are misunderstandings about disinfects and sanitizers.

If it is a food service area, then you’ll be interested in sanitizers. If it’s a medical facility, then you’ll be more interested in disinfectants.

A disinfectant, is a chemical that completely destroys all organisms. The organisms it kills are disease causing bacteria and pathogens.

From a legal standpoint, disinfectants must reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.9%, during a time frame of greater than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes.

A sanitizer in contrast, is a chemical that reduces the number of micro-organisms to a safe level. It does not need to eliminate 100% of all organisms to be effective.

Sanitizers, do not kill viruses and fungi. In a food service situtation the sanitizer must also reduce the bacteria count by 99.9% and are required to kill infectious organisms within 30 seconds.

If it’s just general cleaning you are interested in to remove soil, you should consider using an all-purpose cleaner rather than a, disinfectant or sanitizer.

Always use a disinfectant on your restrooms.

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