There is a huge line that separates sanitizing from disinfecting. The basic definition implies that sanitizing reduces the bacteria identified on the product's label on surfaces while disinfecting destroys bacteria and viruses identified on the product's label such as influenza and rhinovirus.
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), sanitizing lowers the number of germs on the surface to a safe level. This process works either through cleaning (which physically removes germs from surfaces) or disinfecting (which kills germs). Thus, washing of hands. On the other hand, disinfecting refers to the actual killing of germs and bacteria on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals (chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) to kill the germs. This process may not clean the surfaces but it can give a guarantee of killing germs which lower the risk of infection.
So, when should we sanitize and when should we disinfect?
It is best to sanitize on surfaces where you do not normally get direct contact with dangerous bacteria. For example, your kitchen tools, toys, and etc. We can clean these tools without using powerful chemicals.
The process of sanitation and sanitizing products can be applied directly to the skin. Such as washing your hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer gels and soaps, using disinfectant alcohol and etc. Generally, direct contact with sanitizing products is not harmful to the human body.
Unlike sanitizing, disinfecting is not a common part of your cleaning routine as it uses serious chemicals that are harmful to the human body. This process is really meant to be taken seriously because it involves the mixing of powerful chemicals that will surely kill germs and bacteria. According to EPA standards, a disinfectant (like this bestselling hospital-grade disinfectant) must kill 99.999 percent of germs, compared to 99.9 percent for sanitizers.
Generally, it is more important to disinfect because sanitizers will only minimize the bacteria on the surface while disinfecting claims against viruses and bacteria.