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What is the difference between sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization?

     Cleaning is the first and most important step for controlling the spread of infectious germs in the salon. If you don’t clean your implements first, disinfectants may be deactivated and/or blocked by soap films, dirt, grease, or oil.

The differences of sanitation, disinfection, and sterilization are as follows:

     Sanitation is another word for cleaning. Both words have the same meaning; removing visible contamination and debris and dramatically lowering the number of germs on the surface.

     Disinfection is the destruction of viruses, bacteria, and fungi on surfaces that have come in contact with a client’s skin. Proper disinfection leaves a surface highly unlikely to transmit infection or cause disease. Disinfection is only for non-living surfaces because disinfectants are damaging to living skin and may lead to irritation or allergic reactions.

     Sterilization is the complete destruction of all microscopic life on a surface. Hospitals use sterilization on surgical tools. Chemical sterilization is too hazardous for salons; however, pressurized steam sterilization (autoclaving) of nippers, files, and other tools is required in some areas and preferred by some salons. Surfaces such as table tops and foot spas can’t fit into an autoclave and must be disinfected instead.

The combination of proper cleaning and disinfection of tools, surfaces and equipment with an EPA registered disinfectant is highly effective in the salon environment.

Click on this link for Proper Disinfection of Cushioned Abrasive Files, Buffers and Blocks instructions.

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