I wonder which option below sounds more natural to you:

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local health authority.

  1. ........... surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, faucets and phone screens.

a. Disinfect
b. Sanitize

  1. ........... your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

a. Disinfect
b. Sanitize

Based on my provided links, I think they both mean the same and can be interchanged in either case above.

  • 1
    1. Disinfect 2. Sanitize
    – lea
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


Well they've both almost got the same meaning. But, it would be better if you use the word disinfect for things and sanitize for hands. According to the CDC(Centers or Disease Control and Prevention):

Disinfectants can kill almost 99.999% germs, bacteria and viruses. They are stronger than hand sanitizers and may cause irritation and other side-effects on skin. They are used on surfaces and non-living things.

Sanitizers should kill or remove at least 99.9% i.e., to a safe level. It doesn't kill everything but it just lowers the number of germs to a safe level. They can be used on hands.

And also one more thing sometimes we use antiseptics to clean wounds, in that situation you can use disinfect instead of sanitize.

Reference Links: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm


  • May I ask you to provide me with a link that confirms your statements?
    – A-friend
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 9:05

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