Disinfect VS Sanitize: The Difference?

disinfect vs sanitize

What is the difference between disinfect VS sanitize? How is this step necessary in the veterinary practice? This article will talk about how the proper cleaning of veterinary equipment can impact the practice as a whole. Medical professionals use autoclaves to disinfect their tools and cleaning and sanitizing products.

Disinfect VS Sanitize

Many people get confused with these two terms. The term “clean” is also sometimes interchanged with these two words. While it is true that they have a similar meaning, they are not all precisely the same.


Cleaning is done to low-risk surfaces and tools. Floors, windows and other surfaces where the risk of the transfer of infection and pathogens is relatively low.


When sanitation is done, it involves a more in-depth method than just cleaning. Usually, more tools are used, sometimes a sanitizing soap is used to make sure that the surface is free from germs that can contaminate food. Proper sanitation techniques are usually applied to surfaces that come into contact with food.


Disinfection is the total removal of all pathogens and bacteria that may be on frequently touched tools and surfaces. This procedure is done to prevent the transfer of infection and viruses from one person to another. Disinfection is usually done in medical and dental practices.

Why it is essential to disinfect and sanitize vet supplies

It is a known fact that cleanliness is of utmost importance in any medical and dental practice, be this for human beings or pets. Here is a list of reasons why the proper cleaning of veterinary dental tools and disinfect vs sanitizesupplies is essential.

To prevent cross-contamination

When disinfection is done correctly, the prevention of cross-contamination between patients and the dentist will be successful. Simple cleaning is not enough to kill all the pathogens that may have infected the tool or equipment. If these pathogens are not adequately eradicated, it may cause cross-contamination to the next patient.

To prevent the spread of disease

A range of illness can also be avoided if proper cleaning, sanitation and disinfection of tools s performed. It is usually a combination of all three methods that will ensure the complete removal of pathogens.

How are the tools cleaned?

In both human and veterinary dental practices, tools are cleaned in pretty much the same way.

Washed with water and soap

The first step is to wash the materials and tools using soap and water to clean them initially. This will wash away any particles or sediments that are left on the tools and make the disinfection process easier.

Put into an autoclave

An autoclave is a machine that uses the combination of heat and steam to kill any germs and bacteria on the tools. This step has to be done to make the tools safe for use for the succeeding patient.

Final thoughts

Disinfecting dental tools is important. If these measures to clean the equipment are not taken, the medical and dental procedures that are performed using them will be meaningless. The patient will be put at more risk if a process is done with equipment and tools that have not been sanitized and disinfected.


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