May 29, 2022 3 min read

To sanitize or disinfect… that is the question.

 

"Is Good Vibes a disinfectant?"  We get this question all the time and the short answer is no, Good Vibes is a sanitizer.

 

"What is the difference between a disinfectant and a sanitizer?"

 

That's a question that requires a longer answer.

 

With a background as a cosmetology teacher, I am well versed in the subject of infection control.  While most lay persons believe that sanitizing and disinfecting is the same thing, I am armed to the teeth with the facts.  They are not the same.

There are three levels of infection control (the control of the spread of harmful microbes or germs).  The first level is sanitization.  The second level is disinfection and the third is Sterilization.

 

Sanitization, level one, is simply cleaning with soap and water.  I know, I know, this is not what you have been led to believe, but it's the truth.  Cleaning porous and non-porous surfaces with soap and water on a regular basis means you are disrupting the perfect environment for microbes to grow, as they like to grow and feed in damp, dark, dirty places.  Sanitizing destroys their habitat, but it does not kill them.  It simply prevents them from feeding and reproducing.  When you sanitize, you encourage some germs to turn themselves into bacterial spores, or bacteria with shell like coverings. This prevents them from eating or reproducing, but it's only temporary.  Once an area becomes suitable for their survival again they come back and they let all their friends know it’s a party over here!  This is where it becomes important to keep your environment clean and sanitary all the times, because damn those germs living rent free in your home!

 

Disinfection is the second level of infection control.  Disinfecting does kill or retard microbes, but it does not clean or make the environment unfavorable for their growth (you will need soap and water for that). Disinfectants are almost always created from chemical agents and can be toxic if used improperly. In order to be labeled as a disinfectant, a product label must state exactly which microbes it is effective against, how to dilute it and how to use it. The label will also have an EPA registration number.  This lets you know that the product was tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and was proven to kill or retard the specific bacteria, fungi and viruses that it claims to eliminate.  Always use according to the label and do not mix disinfectants with any other product.

 

Sterilization is the third level of infection control.  It kills all microbes by using steam, heat or ultra-violet light for a specific amount of time.  Sterilization is usually reserved for tools that come in contact with blood or body fluids like those of a surgeon or dentist or even a nail tech.

 

 

Proper cleaning and infection control always requires level one, sanitization.  All tools and surfaces must be cleaned before they can be disinfected or sterilized (imagine allowing a dirty comb to soak in disinfectant 🤢).  For infection control at home, first clean with a soap and water solution like Good Vibes APC and follow up by wiping or spraying with your disinfectant solution. Allow the solution to air dry.  If you sanitize on a regular basis, you should not have to disinfect often.  Wiping your surfaces down with Good Vibes All Purpose Cleaner regularly will be enough to put an end to that party that germs are having on your countertops right now. 

 

I hope this answers your questions. For help sticking to a cleaning routine, click here.

 

What's your favorite disinfectant to use around the house?  Sound off in the comments below, I'd love to hear what you're using.

Ymani Efunyale
Ymani Efunyale

I created Good Vibes because my family deserved better, and so does yours 💚


2 Responses

Ymani
Ymani

June 03, 2022

Hi Ashley, It’s the teacher in me. Making things simple and plain is my job. Thank you for reading!

Ashley
Ashley

June 03, 2022

I had no idea there were all these differences, but you laid it out so clearly that it was easy to understand. Thanks for sharing!

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