Difference Sterilization between Disinfection

Sterilization and disinfection both of them are the methods of decontamination. The main aim of disinfection is killing the microbes to an extent that the infection does not get transmitted and it does not necessarily eliminate all the[wp_ad_camp_1]

microorganisms present in the equipment being disinfected. While on the other hand sterilization is a process of decontamination in which all the kinds of microorganisms present on the surface of the equipment are eliminated and the object which has been cleaned is called as sterile. The process of sterilization is also known to kill all the spores present on the object which is to be sterilized. From the above information we are can say that the process of sterilization kills the entire viable microorganism while on the other hand disinfection only minimizes the number of viable microorganisms.[wp_ad_camp_1]


The process of sterilization is known as a treatment that makes the treated object free from all the living organisms. The process can be done by exposure to physical, chemical agents and in case of certain solutions, by filtration. Such physical methods include heat, radiation and filtration. Whereas Chemical method used in sterilization include use of various liquid and gaseous chemicals. On very few occasions physio-chemical method which is a combination of physical and chemical method is used for the purpose of sterilization. The various serialization methods which are commonly used include: steam sterilization, heating, chemical sterilization, radiation sterilization and sterile filtration.


The process of disinfection only tends to minimize the amount of microorganisms and do not completely kill them. The process disinfection is commonly used in the practical life. This method is carried out with the use of disinfectants.  There are two types of the process of disinfectants one is broad spectrum which acts over large variety of microorganisms and the other is narrow spectrum which acts on small variety of microorganisms and are easy to use which is nontoxic and is inexpensive. The various kinds of disinfectants commonly used are alcohols, aldehyde, oxidizing agent, phenolic, biguanide polymer polyaminopropyl biguanide is a bactericidal at very low concentrations, to disinfect smooth, opaque materials high density shortwave UV light, sodium bicarbonate also has some properties of disinfectants.[wp_ad_camp_1]



  • Disinfection only minimizes the number of microorganisms while sterilization completely kills the micro living organisms.
  • Disinfection is mostly used in practical and daily life while sterilization is commonly used in surgical operations or in labs where sterile condition is very important.
  • The methods of sterilization are well defined and require to be followed strictly to completely eliminate the microorganisms. While disinfection does not need a very strict key points to be followed.
  • Sterilization is absolute while on the other hand disinfection only minimizes the amount of microorganism and there is no good guarantee that it will not result in infection.
  • An object which is serialized has no living microorganism present on its surface while disinfected object has a small load of the microorganism.
  • Disinfection can only kill vegetative form of the microorganism it cannot kill the highly resistant spores whereas sterilization can kill even the resistant spores.

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