Disinfecting vs Sanitizing: What's Better During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Published February 5th, 2021 by Express Cleaning Facility Services

In 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there were loud cries from the CDC and local governmental agencies for people to wash their hands. Something that was taught in elementary school seemed to have been lost on many Americans.

But the truth is there's a difference between washing, sanitizing, and fully disinfecting oneself and one's environment. Knowing the differences between disinfecting vs sanitizing can help keep you healthy.

It's time we clear the air so you have a better chance at staying healthy.

Disinfecting Vs Sanitizing

When we go down the list of terminology, we start with the simple term: cleaning. To disinfect and sanitize are to clean. But the two terms are not synonymous.

Sanitization reduces bacteria. Think about all the little bottles of hand sanitizer you've seen and you'll likely see a "Kills 99.99% of bacteria, guaranteed!"

While that's a good start, it's not the same as disinfecting something. To disinfect something, you're literally destroying (or in some cases, simply deactivating) bacteria and viruses. 

This usually is done on non-porous surfaces I.E. counters or door handles, not your hands.

When Is Sanitization Not Enough?

As we toil through the pandemic, it's clear that sanitization, while better than nothing, is still not enough. COVID-19 has the ability to survive on surfaces, even plastic ones, for up to three days.

Having a retail or office space with many people coming and going is especially without routine disinfection your business can lead to a massive outbreak of the disease. It's not a good look to be the hub of an outbreak, and it'll temporarily shut you down.

It's crucial to have your space regularly disinfected, regardless of the size, due to the growing concern of spreading disease.

Places that Need Disinfecting Most

There are a few obvious spots that come to mind. Doorknobs, light switches, railings, toilets, and so on.

These places run the highest risk of disease transfer and need to be disinfected.

One key area people neglect is their phone. With the phone being used so regularly in our everyday lives, it becomes a third hand, getting all the germs and gunk on it from everything we touch.

Meanwhile surfaces like countertops, chairs, and tables usually don't need extreme disinfection. Sanitization will suffice in getting rid of the majority of germs in low-traffic areas. 

What Disinfectants Are Best To Use Against COVID-19?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a hefty list of disinfectants for fighting off the coronavirus. Each has been pre-approved to ensure they kill the virus successfully, as well as not posing a significant risk to the environment.

Some of these disinfectants are readily accessible to consumers. Others, however, are reserved only for licensed professionals.

Invest in Your Health

Knowing the differences between disinfecting vs sanitizing areas only goes so far. The next step is to make a battle plan, then act on it.

Our team at Express Cleaning of New Jersey works from big to small, residential to commercial. We're committed to keeping you and those you care about healthy and safe during this pandemic.

Reach out today for a quote or with any questions you may have about our services.

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