Cleaning vs Sanitizing vs Disinfecting

August 24, 2021


Get the Facts.

What's the Difference?

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from a surface or object by using soap + water. It doesn't necessarily kill all of them. Our cleaners are in this category. We also include pure essential oils that have antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.

Sanitizers use EPA approved chemicals or alcohol to reduce the level of germs to meet public health standards or requirements. However, it doesn't always require chemicals. Hot water can be used to sanitize surfaces/objects.

Disinfectants are stronger forms of sanitizer that kills bacteria and viruses. This kills both good and bad germs and can create superbugs (bugs that become resistant/don't die) that can make you sick.

What Should you Use on a Daily Basis?

The best way to handle germs is with soap and water. In normal circumstances, we don't recommend disinfecting/sanitizing for few reasons. 1. They can contain strong chemicals that can be harmful to you. 2. They can create superbugs (resistant germs) that won't die and can make you sick. 3. They prevent your immune system from building up strong immunity to other illnesses.

You want to clean your home regularly. Some areas (like kitchen countertops) on a daily basis. This will drastically reduce the number of germs and yucky stuff in your home...keeping a clean home creates a healthy home. Gaia uses the cleaning power of coconuts (coco-glucoside). Coco-glucoside is a natural, non-ionic surfactant (surface acting agent). It gently cleanses by actively attaching to grease/dirt by its fat-loving end of the molecule and washing it away by increasing surface tension by the water-loving end of the molecule. In short, it lifts, separates and washes germs (soap can kill bacteria and viruses by penetrating/opening the cell wall & killing it), dirt, and grime away. Note: I even use All-Purpose Cleaner to clean up areas that touch raw meat, fish etc.

Did you know washing your hands with soap and water can kill Covid-19? While we are all still dealing with (and learning to live with) Covid-19, the good news is that there continues to be strong evidence that the simple act of washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap will kill the virus if you’ve touched it. In fact, according to the CDC, "There is currently no evidence that consumer antiseptic wash products (also known as antibacterial soaps) are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients could do more harm than good in the long-term and more research is needed."

Everyone has their personal preference. However, I choose to not use any disinfectants in our home and our family very rarely feels under the weather. I introduced our kids to everyday germs at a very young age to help build up their immune systems. If any illness goes through our community/school they rarely show symptoms.

A young immune system is strengthened by exposure to everyday germs so that it can learn, adapt, and regulate itself, notes Thom McDade, PhD, associate professor and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern University. "We're moving beyond this idea that the immune system is just involved in allergies, autoimmune diseases, and asthma to think about its role in inflammation and other degenerative diseases," McDade says. "Microbial exposures early in life may be important… to keep inflammation in check in adulthood." Inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer's.

Note: If you want to go one step further to sanitize/disinfect you can use hydrogen peroxide instead of the over-the-counter disinfectants. To use as a disinfectant, spray it on the surface, allow the bubbles to subside, then air dry or wipe dry with a clean cloth.

All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate

Safe & Effective on:

1. Kitchen Counters: Note that it is safe to use on ALL sealed surfaces.

2. Glass/Mirrors: Leaves glass streak-free and beautiful. Use a lint-free towel.

3. Stainless Steel: Leaves stainless streak-free and shiny. use a lint free towel.

4. Cabinets: Removes the stickiness and grime that accumulate from hands and splashes.

5. Stoves: Great for daily wipe downs to keeping stoves clean. Safe to use on glass tops.

6. Hard Surface Floors: Perfect for those small jobs like spills and splatters.

7. Bathrooms: Cleans and refreshes counters, sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets.

Environmentally Friendly.

Gaia's eco-friendly packaging helps you focus on conservation. All Purpose Concentrate comes in a concentrated 12 oz. bottle so you aren't paying for expensive water. Just mix 1oz (16 pumps) into our reusable 16 oz glass spray bottle and gently shake to mix.

Ingredient Transparency means we tell you exactly what's in the bottle. Simple, clean ingredients gets you the greenest clean. (Baking soda, salt, citric acid, coco glucoside, glycerin, water, pure essential oils)

Written by Karen Troutt

Karen is the founder & creator of Gaia's cleaning line and co-owner of Gaia Natural Home. She's a health educator and stresses the importance of prevention. She found a need and was determined to create truly "clean" cleaning products after her 3 children were born. With her husband, Jason (a biochemist), by her side she was able to develop high-quality, toxic-free cleaners. You'll find her in the flower garden, cooking in the kitchen, at the ball fields, and hanging at the beach with her family in Santa Rosa Beach, FL along the famous 30a highway.

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