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Health Department

Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Table disinfection. African american tall bearded man spraying disinfector on the table surface

Sanitizers and disinfectants are used to kill microbes on surfaces.

Sanitizing products kill bacteria on surfaces using chemicals and are used on food contact surfaces, toys, and high-touch areas such as door handles.

Disinfecting products kill viruses and bacteria on surfaces using chemicals. Disinfectants are used in restrooms, on diaper changing tables, and on surfaces contaminated by bodily fluids.

Bleach is effective at sanitizing and disinfecting. Mixing instructions differ by brand. Follow the mixing instructions provided on your bleach label. Bleach concentration for sanitizing should be 50-200ppm. Bleach concentration for disinfecting depends on the brand of bleach. Test your bleach mixtures daily.

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