Friday, May 11, 2012

Sanitizer versus Disinfectant, is there a difference?

Hand sanitizers are everywhere nowadays from wipes for your shopping cart handle to bottles of hand sanitzers on every desk. But did you know that a sanitizer is not a disinfectant and does not kill viruses and fungi?

A sanitizer is a chemical that reduces the number of microorganisms to a safe level. It doesn't need to eliminate 100 percent of all organisms to be effective and, as stated above, does not kill viruses or fungi. So basically, a sanitzer just reduces the number of organisms on a surface and does not completely remove them.

A disinfectant, on the other hand, is a chemical that completely destroys all organisms listed on its label. The organisms it kills are disease-causing bacteria and pathogens, and it may or may not kill viruses and fungi, depending on the type of disinfectant used.

So to make a long, scientific story short - a sanitizer is fine for surfaces like blinds and cabinets, but you need a disinfectant for germier spots, like the kitchen sink and bathtub, which may harbor disease-causing bugs such as salmonella and e. coli. And if you are trying to not get the flu bug, using a sanitizer will not protect you.

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