Difference Between Disinfection and Sterilization

Disinfection and sterilization are two common methods of killing or preventing microbial growth. Microorganisms can cause many diseases in humans and animals.

They are also responsible for food contamination. Therefore, it is useful to kill or prevent their growth to reduce their risk. This is accomplished by sterilization or disinfection. However, these two approaches are based on different principles.

Difference Between Disinfection and Sterilization

What is Disinfection?

Disinfection is a chemical process used to prevent or prevent the growth of bacteria and other pathogens that can cause infectious diseases in humans and animals Disinfectants are substances used in the treatment of products. It contains alcohol, iodine and chlorine.

What is Sterilization?

Sterilization is a method used mainly to kill all kinds of microorganisms and their parasites. This procedure is performed to maintain a sterile environment. It is usually done by a combination of heat, radiation, concentration, high pressure, etc.

Difference Between Disinfection and Sterilization

Disinfection Sterilization
In this, the number of harmful microbes is minimized to a negligible level. In this, the medium is made completely free from all microbes.
It kills only vegetative cells and not the spores. It kills both vegetative cells and spores.
Wounds are disinfected – with agents such as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Wounds cannot be sterilized – as it may kill surrounding healthy cells.
Disinfection only reduces the effect of microbes. Sterilization completely rids microbes from the surface
Chemical methods are used for disinfection Combination of heat, irradiation,  high pressure, chemical and physical methods are used for sterilization
Phenol, alcohol, chlorine, iodine are some of the disinfecting agents. High temperatures, steam, radiation, filtration are some of the sterilization techniques.
Only adequate cleanliness Extreme cleanliness
Used in daily life. Used primarily for medical and research purposes.
For eg., pasteurization, disinfecting urinals, etc. For eg., sterilization of instruments used during surgery by autoclaving.

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