Disinfecting…or sanitizing? Here are 5 smart cleaning facts you might not know

With all the sanitizing and disinfecting going on, do you actually know the difference between the two? We didn’t, so we asked an expert for some definitions. Teresa Hunsaker shares the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting.

Differences between sanitizing and disinfecting


Lowers the number of germs on surfaces by killing or removing bacteria.


Kills germs on surfaces through the use of chemicals. May not remove or clean.

Other Facts:

  • Sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting.
  • Homemade disinfecting agents are not always as effective as commercial products depending on the recipe, dilution, and concentration.
  • Plant-based products work as long as they are EPA controlled and have an ethanol base.
  • Disinfectants don’t work instantly - it takes about 10 minutes.
  • Not all cleaning products have the same level of disinfecting.