Difference between sanitization and disinfection


Cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection are the three terms that make confusion in users. These three are similar words but the method of action is different from one another. There are notable differences between sanitization and disinfection. All these words are related to health and hygiene. Especially in this time, the terms cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection are very popular among people.


It is the most basic process of making a place dirt free. The process of cleaning a surface means simply removing visible dirt, dust, and infectious agents. It is the process that we daily do in our households and the places we use. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts and uses many different methods.


It is a form of deep cleaning. Sanitization is the process of cleaning surfaces of objects to reduce the number of bacteria to safe levels. The dictionary meaning of sanitization is that, the act or process of making something completely clean and free from bacteria. 


It is the process of deeper cleaning with the help of disinfectants. Disinfectants are chemical agents that are designed to destroy microorganisms on an inert surface. The primary methods for disinfection are ozone, ultraviolet light, Chlorination, and chloramines. The meaning of disinfection is that it is defined as the treatment of surfaces or equipment using physical or chemical means. 


The cleaning and sanitization are the two closely related words. But in mode of action, both are not the same. It is the first step of sanitization.

The main differences between cleaning and sanitization are,

  1. Cleaning is the first step to remove the dirt and dust from a certain surface, but sanitization is the next level of it.
  2. The process of cleaning is a regular task, but sanitization is a highly professional task that requires knowledge, experience, and expertise.
  3. Simple and basic equipment, chemicals, and agents are used in cleaning. But in sanitization, procedures are much more complex.
  4. Sanitization aims at killing the bacteria and inhibits its further growth, but cleaning aims at removing the dust particles.


People always search about “what is the difference between sanitization and disinfection?” Knowing the difference between sanitization and disinfection will also help us to do a proper cleaning process. In addition, it will help in selecting the cleaning products and procedures to follow. There are several cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting companies are available in every location. Selecting the best among them is an important task. Because they will assess the situation properly and use appropriate disinfectants suitable there. New star Pest Control Company is one of the best pest control service centers in UAE. They provide their professional service across Dubai, Ajman, and Sharjah.

The main differences between sanitization and disinfection are,

  1. Sanitization is the deep (second level) form of cleaning whereas, disinfection is the deeper (third level) process.
  2. Sanitization is the process of lowering the number of germs on a surface to a safe level. Whereas disinfection is the process of killing the germs and bacteria on the surface or object.
  3. Sanitization is the process of cleaning and removing dirt and germs. Whereas disinfection doesn’t necessarily clean the dirty surfaces.
  4. The process of sanitization is a common part of our daily routine. Just like sanitizing cooking tools and children’s toys. Whereas disinfection is not a common part of life. It is a much more complex and serious activity of cleaning.
  5. According to EPA standards, a disinfectant must kill 99.99 percent of germs. Whereas sanitizers need to kill 99.9 percent of germs.
  6. We commonly use the sanitization process for household/ residential cleaning. And disinfection process id used more for commercial cleaning purposes.
  7. Sanitizing is generally a little more gentle than disinfecting.
  8. A simple water and bleach solution can be a sanitizer or a disinfectant depending on the concentration of bleach in the solution. A higher concentration solution will be a disinfectant and a lower concentration solution will be a sanitizer.
What is Sanitization? Learn Definition, Meaning & Methods | Droom
Cleaning and Sanitization


Cleaning and sanitization can together be done in order to get better result. It can be done through 5 steps;

  1.  Prepare
  2. Clean
  3. Sanitize
  4. Check
  5. Reset


The first step in the cleaning and sanitizing process is to prepare for safer cleaning. Authorities like the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of ventilation before and while cleaning. Open outside doors and windows will help to increase air circulation in the space. Try to use the right cleaning supplies. Disinfectants and sanitizers will be harmful to health when they are not chosen correctly. Always review the safety guidelines on the chemicals you use. Wash hands at least for 20 minutes or use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content in it.


The second step of the cleaning and sanitizing process is to clean dust and debris. Cleaning a surface or object means washing, sweeping, mopping, and dusting. Try to clean the space with soap and water in order to remove dirt, grease, dust, and germs. Be careful while cleaning the soft surfaces like carpet, bedding, and upholstery.


The third step in cleaning and sanitization is to sanitize with disinfectant. Sanitizing is the process of using chemicals to reduce the number of germs and bacteria. Once a surface is clean, spray it with proper disinfectant. The use of chemicals properly based on the guidelines will kill as many germs as possible. However, be sure to read all safety labels to ensure you are using cleaning chemicals properly.


Checking the space room by room is important in order to ensure better results. Double-checking the high-touch surfaces will help to find the missed parts if any. Make a checklist to make sure about the cleanliness. Above all, note any maintenance issues or missing items.


The fifth and last step of the cleaning and sanitizing process is to reset the room/ space that have cleaned. Dispose and wash the cleaning equipment after its use. And also, throw away disposable products. Read about the cleaning process required for the equipment and follow it. Prevent cross-contamination by following the guidelines appropriately. Be sure to check expiration dates and refill any supplies that are used.


Sanitization and disinfection services


  1. I was having this argument with my best friend about the same topic that there is a definite difference between getting something or someplace sanitized and disinfected.

    I was obviously advocating for the difference and he was saying that it’s the same so I have been finding a proper article for making my point solid and I stumbled upon this piece which is absolutely amazing.
    Thanks for this informative post and would love to read more in the future.

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