Difference Between Sterilization and Disinfection


While both sterilization and disinfection processes are effective ways of cleansing harmful bacteria and germs from surfaces and other objects each one has major differences and benefits. Disinfection sprays are great to use in the home to keep the air clean and remove any impurities. Sometimes however the more rigorous practices of sterilization are needed especially in the case of someone who is about to undergo surgery.

Disinfection is a means of merely removing the most harmful germs from the surrounding surfaces and objects. This process normally makes viruses ineffective and further prevents them from causing further infection. There are many different methods where disinfectants can be used. Some of these include the use of house hold sprays you can buy in the grocery store or drug store.

Others include mouthwashes that one uses to rinse after brushing their mouth to disinfect and prevent their mouth and other oral cavities from getting any infections. The proper use of such disinfectants in combination with other methods can keep one from getting any colds or prevent viruses from spreading.

In other situations when one is cooking for example then more thorough processes such as sterilization must be used. Sterilization is the use of heating, steam and chemical sterilization to kill all harmful bacteria and germs. For example when one is boiling water to cook vegetables or prepare some other meal their sterilizing the water to kill any harmful bacteria from entering the contents of the food they are preparing. Pressure cooking is considered a form of using steam to sterilize however this method isn’t considered as through as some other methods.

When one goes into the hospital for any kind of surgery they can rest assured that the IV sets and medical equipment undergo a rigorous radiation sterilization process. Some of these include the use of gamma rays, electronic beams, and X rays to name a few.

Each method brings its own benefits to the safety of others. Depending on the situation where the process is used and for what purpose will determine the effectiveness. In a classroom with sixth graders using a daily disinfection spray can help prevent the spread of germs and other bacteria.

On the other hand in a cancer treatment center where many individuals are fighting a life threatening illness then the use of stringent sterilization methods such as radiation, heating and steam might prove more beneficial to prevent any infection and harmful viruses from entering the bodies of their already weakened immune systems. Both play an imperative role in preventing infection and disease from running rampant. A simple thing such as disinfecting your countertops daily can ensure that you don’t have any harmful bacteria such as salmonella present.