Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting–What’s the Difference?

Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting–What’s the Difference? We get this question a lot and there is an important difference that matters now more than ever. Practicing proper sanitization reduces the number of pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms)on non-porous surfaces. Proper disinfection procedures kill harmful pathogens on non-porous surfaces to the fullest possible extent. In short, disinfection is better than sanitization as it truly kills harmful pathogens that we are all trying to avoid.

So how do you know whether you are sanitizing or disinfecting? It’s all about dwell time. Dwell time is also known as “kill time.” It’s how long your non-porous surface needs to stay wet with disinfectant in order to be effective. Or, it’s the amount of time you need to wait while soaking implements if you’re using your disinfectant product in that manner.

We recommend that you use a disinfectant that is registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). These products have been tested and proven. Every EPA-registered disinfectant must have the proper mixing instructions and directions for use printed on the bottle. Every product is a little different so be sure to read those directions! There are slight variations of dwell time with the products we manufacture. For example, when mixed with water at 660PPM (parts per million), LUCAS-CIDETM concentrate has a3-minutedwell time to sanitize. It has a 10-minute dwell time to disinfect. However, our new LUCAS-CIDE #222 RTU (ready to use) product offers a60-second dwell time for full disinfection including killing COVID-19 in 60 seconds.

So, now that I explained the difference between sanitization and disinfection, what are were commending during the time of COVID-19? Full disinfection. Every time. There’s no room for error in keeping yourself, your colleagues and your clients safe. That’s why the EPA has a reference for consumers to check their disinfectant products for COVID-19 effectiveness; List N:Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19).Find the EPA number on your product then enter it into the search field here.

Taking disinfection seriously is one critical way to ensure the success of your business and safety of everyone. And every employee in the salon should have the same educated understanding of proper disinfection. To help with this, we offer continuing education certifications for free online: LUCAS-CIDE Safe Space Certification and LUCASOL Safe Space Certification. Each take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete with a certificate awarded at test completion. You can find them here: here:

Whatever disinfectants you choose to use in your salon, we thank you for keeping our communities safe by following proper disinfection practices and setting the standard for safe businesses. If you ever have any questions about disinfection or salon safety, reach out! I’d love to connect with you