Sanitizing and Disinfecting | What Really Kills Pathogens

In light of recent events, we know that cleaning is more important than ever. However, many approaches simply don’t get the job done. Let us take a close and detailed look at 12 things about sanitizing and disinfecting and what really kills pathogens.

#1 What is sanitizing?

To start things off, sanitizing is done with the goal of reducing bacteria from a surface. The product is advertised as being effective against a certain set of pathogens, and sanitization removes the vast majority of pathogens from a surface. In general, sanitization is a generic term. You’re probably familiar with hand sanitizers and other household products that are designed to clean. The bottom line is, after treatment, the surface will have far fewer pathogens than it began with.

#2 What is disinfecting?

Next, disinfecting is similar. This practice aims to destroy or inactivate pathogens so that they are no longer a threat on a surface. In general, hard, nonporous surfaces are the best candidates for disinfection. In some regards, disinfection meets a higher standard than sanitization. Both are superbly effective ways of killing pathogens for the greater good, and there is a lot of overlap between the two.

#3 Electrostatic spraying

Electrostatic sprayers are extremely effective at killing pathogens. These sprayers spread a solution at high volumes and speeds. Due to their automated nature, you don’t have to worry about manually spraying every square inch of a surface. You can simply sweep the sprayer over the target location for a quick and easy sanitization. When you’re out of solution, it’s very easy to load another bottle into the machine. Electrostatic spraying has been endorsed by experts around the world. For the most part, this type of spraying is the standard for permanently killing pathogens. Here, the resulting droplets are larger than in other approaches, making them stronger and more effective overall. It can’t be emphasized enough that all visible surfaces need to be disinfected. If you miss just one surface, the pathogen could live and be spread the next time you touch the surface. To eliminate any doubt, turn to an electrostatic sprayer to get the job done.

#4 Dry fogging

When you want to disinfect the air in a room, you’ll want to turn to dry fogging. Dry fogging relies on liquid disinfectant and compressed air. Because the resulting droplets are so small, they weigh very little and don’t fall to the ground. These droplets will linger around in the air and disinfect the atmosphere in your home. Although dry fogging can be used to disinfect a surface, it’s generally not recommended. There are much more effective ways to get that type of task done. However, if you know that your air is contaminated, dry fogging will clear out pathogens like none other. Make sure everyone evacuates the area beforehand so they don’t inhale large volumes of the dry fog.

#5 How long do pathogens last?

There is a wide range of lifespans of pathogens. The shortest lifespans consist of only eight hours for the most harmless pathogens. Although you can certainly turn to disinfectants, there might be no need to do so. In a workplace, the pathogens will die out overnight and won’t pose a threat to your employees who come in the next morning. On the other hand, some pathogens linger around for a prolonged period of time. This duration can extend up to 300 days at once. In this case, you’ll definitely need to turn to sanitization to get the job done. Otherwise, the pathogens will be alive and threatening every time you step into the room.

#6 Don’t use basic cleaning

As discussed above, sanitization is your best bet. Basic cleaning simply doesn’t get the job done. Rubbing your hands together with soap and water is a great way to cleanse yourself after hiking on a trail, but this type of treatment isn’t suitable for pathogens. The most durable pathogens won’t succumb to a household soap. No matter how hard you scrub the surface, they could remain alive and a threat. In this regard, you really need to look for a more advanced solution than simple cleaning.

#7 Whole room disinfection

Whole room disinfection is the most reliable approach to killing pathogens. These forms of bacteria can lie on surfaces that you may never have imagined. They could exist on the underside of your living room table or between the slits in your computer. In order to clean all these surfaces, you’ll want to employ whole room disinfection. This comprehensive disinfection doesn’t take any shortcuts when it comes to cleaning. The solution will be spread throughout the air and eventually land on all visible surfaces. This is so much better than a basic spray bottle that can’t really access those tiny openings in your closet.

#8 Comprehensive solutions

Comprehensive solutions should also be a priority. Generic brands of solutions are a decent place to start, but once again, these products don’t always get the job done. A comprehensive solution is comprised of chemicals that are specifically designed to sanitize. Other products might be targeted at freshening clothing or your dishes. Because the nonporous surfaces of your home are much more durable, you should feel confident about using a much stronger solution. These products combine the best of both worlds when targeting pathogens. Because these comprehensive solutions are so powerful, you don’t want to get them on your clothes or in your mouth. When you spray a comprehensive solution on your furniture, there’s no doubt that pathogens will be eliminated.

#9 Quantity matters too

Quality isn’t the only factor when it comes to these approaches. The quantity of product also affects whether pathogens are killed off or not. No matter how strong of a product you are using, it won’t be effective if you are only spraying a few droplets. In order to knock out the most resilient bacteria, don’t be afraid to sanitize in large quantities. In this regard, measure the surface area of the area you are about to disinfect. You’ll be able to calculate exactly how much product is appropriate. This isn’t to say that you need to inundate the room with solution, but a decent spray can really go a long way.

#10 Type of pathogen

It’s also good to know what type of pathogen you are trying to combat. If you are dealing with Listeria, you’ll need to take a certain approach. Norovirus requires a different approach. While some sanitizers are universal solutions, not all of them are this effective. Besides, if you can identify the type of pathogen, you’re better off using a specific disinfectant for the purpose. Your home is likely full of regular bacteria and germs. However, if you are working in a lab, you’re probably dealing with more intricate pathogens. Do some research to identify the type and respond appropriately.

#11 Test for pathogens

As discussed above, it’s optimal if you can discern between types of pathogens. However, it’s important to simply test for their presence in the first place. Pathogen test kits are amazing for detecting the presence of pathogens and how densely they are spread. While it’s great to sanitize and disinfect your workplace, you don’t want to be working for nothing. First, conduct a couple of tests to see whether pathogens are a major cause of concern. If they are, go ahead and proceed with all the above. In the best-case scenario, the pathogen test will also reveal what type of pathogen is on your hands.

#12 Professional services

Last but not least, professional services are fantastic to sanitize and disinfect your home or workplace. If you’re not experienced with killing pathogens, you might be hesitant to do it on your own. Fortunately, a professional service can tackle this issue without a hitch. They use the highest quality disinfectant products available and spray it around within a matter of hours. You can trust that the space will no longer pose a health hazard for anyone in the vicinity. Contact a service today to get started on a thorough sanitization.


In conclusion, these are a couple of important things about what really kills pathogens. Pathogens are surprisingly durable and resilient. In order to kill them, you need to take measures that are more extreme than you might have imagined.

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