Disinfection vs Sanitiser – What Are They and Which is Best for Your Cleaning Needs


There is a lot of confusion surrounding the definition of disinfecting and sanitising. The majority of people don’t really know the difference and if this is the case, homes won’t be getting clean like people think. Knowing which is best for which surface allows you to get a better, deeper clean in the right places.

It’s important to know the difference between disinfection and sanitiser, so you can choose the right cleaning products. Basically, sanitisers reduce bacteria on surfaces by around 99.9% but do not affect viruses and funguses. Disinfecting kills a wider range of microorganisms. So, in short – sanitising reduces the bacteria on a surface to a safe level and disinfecting kills everything on a surface.

When Should You Sanitise?

Sanitising is best used on surfaces that you want to be clean, but they don’t have the chance of having dangerous bacteria on them. Sanitising is also less invasive, because it uses a lower concentration of chemicals than disinfection products. So areas like the kitchen table tops, food prep surfaces and children’s toys for example, will benefit from sanitising.

When Should You Disinfect?

Disinfecting is recommended for surfaces or objects that have come into contact with blood, bodily fluids or sewage for example. In your house, this could be areas like the toilet, the sink or an area where your pet has been sick or injured.

What About Cleaning Your Hands?

While it may be tempting to disinfect your hands, as you want to kill every single germ, this is not advised. Disinfectants generally contain harsh chemicals, which is why they are so effective at killing every organism on a surface. This will be too harsh for your skin and could lead to adverse effects like a rash.

We actually have some ‘good bacteria’ on our skin, just like in our guts. So, you don’t want to kill absolutely everything off. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or hand sanitiser when you’re out, will do enough to kill off the harmful bacteria.

Are General Cleaning Products Effective?

Normal cleaning products will be effective at wiping away dirt and grime and are great for a general cleaning routine. Vacuuming is effective at keeping dust and dirt at bay, but it’s advised to get a thorough steam clean at least a few times a year. Call Extraclean for professional carpet cleaning in Brisbane.

For highly touched surfaces like door handles and buttons, think about sanitising these areas at least once a day. This will keep harmful bacteria down to a safe level. Now you know about the different types of cleaners, you can keep the germs in your home at bay and keep your family healthy.