COVID-19 has been part of our lives from 2 years now and has taught us a number of things. One of the good things or rather positive impacts of this COVID pandemic was that we took take of sanitization and health. However, still not many people are aware about what to disinfect and where to sterilize. Disinfecting surfaces is what we mostly did in this corona pandemic, but what is also important is to sterilize things that are more prone to spreading virus. Disinfecting and sterilizing and both types of decontamination process that makes things safer to touch. Let us check out the difference and usage of these processes in various situations.
Disinfect Vs Sterilize
According to General Physician, Dr. Sumeet Nigam from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, disinfectant and sterilization are sides of the same coin. However they are not the same thing. Disinfectants are used to kill the germs present in the surface of some object by spraying that liquid and them getting rid of the germs. In this process the risk of infection becomes extremely low. Disinfectants are widely used to clean majority of surface, objects and places on wide scale.
In process of sterilization, the object in kept under that closed environment or in boiling water and taken to a temperature where any type of harmful agents are removed. Sterilization process is used widely in hospitals for decontaminating equipments or any objects that may increase the risk of infection. It kills the microbial bacteria and any such agents on the object.
Sterilization is one of the safest practices for fighting any virus or bacteria present on the object. It not only gets rid of outer surface virus but also from inside. Hence this process is also used to clean water bottles and rubber nipples of children, to keep them safe from any kind of health issues.
Usage of Disinfectants
Disinfectants are used widely in households for cleaning purposes. You may have clothes disinfectant, for utensils, floor and various objects. Disinfectants are usually present in the form of chemicals and liquids which are mixed with water to clean different surfaces. One of the greatest advantages of disinfectant in sanitization process is that it is widely available and very easy to use.
Common places of usage are-
- Cleaning of floor
- Wiping windows, table and wooden surfaces
- Disinfecting screen and gadgets including TV, Laptops and Electronic equipments
- Cleaning glass surfaces
- Used in washing clothes
- In cleaning utensils
- In form of air purifiers in cars or home
- In cleaning toilet seats and surfaces of personal touch
What Disinfectant kills-
Disinfectants are used to kill most of the viruses and fungi. It is also used commercially to make effective products to kill viruses such as COVID-19. It is also used in majority of cases to kill bacteria present on surfaces. However it may not be able to treat the problems caused by bacteria or virus spread. Disinfectants are used majorly on outer surfaces which do not have anything to do with personal hygiene, food and objects used on body.
Sterilization Process Usage
This is one of the decontamination processes which is used more often in professional use or for personal hygiene products. Sterilization was majorly used in hospitals earlier to keep the equipments and products that need to go inside the body away from any sort of infection. Usually machines are present that sterilize microorganisms present in the equipments, cotton or anything that comes in contact with body to be clean.
In this COVID-19 pandemic, many people bought certain sterilization machines to keep their personal usage products away from risk of infections. These products include-
- Personal hygiene products
- Water bottles
- Braces or related cosmetics
Methods of Sterilization-
There are several ways in which process of sterilization can be conducted. Here are some methods that are used in different areas to sterilize different things.
- Dry heat cabinets
- Infrared radiations
- Advanced radiation
- Pressurized steam
- Hydrogen peroxide gas
- Ethylene oxide gas
- Ionizing radiations
What does it kill?
Well sterilization process can remove any type of virus, bacteria, fungi, etc from the product. However different methods of sterilization are effective for killing various infected surfaces. Hence it is important to read once before using it. Also try to use gloves or sanitized equipments to use products after sterilization; otherwise the process will be of no use.
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