At Sychem, we are specialists in Disinfection, Sterilisation and decontamination, and operate in a wide range of industries. Despite many people using the terms Sterilisation and Disinfection interchangeably, there are significant differences between both types of high-level cleaning.
What exactly is the difference between Sterilisation and Disinfection?
Cleaning & Disinfection: A process that removes dirt, dust, large numbers of microorganisms and organic matter, killing most, but not all viable organisms.
Sterilisation: This is a process of removing or killing all viable organisms including spores. Dead microorganisms and toxins (pyrogens) may remain. Decontamination: A process that destroys or removes all microbial contamination to render an item or the environment completely safe.
The process of Disinfection is used to reduce the number of viable micro-organisms on a device, but it is not guaranteed to inactivate them all. Disinfection can be used to reduce the number of viable micro-organisms down to a level that ensures the device is fit for its intended purpose. A reduction in the number of viable micro-organisms to the most minute number via cleaning and Disinfection makes a device sterile.
In comparison, sterilisation is a process designed to kill all types of micro-organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and resistant bacterial spores, but is not necessarily effective against prions. This is because it is simply not possible to detect all organisms on a device. The term sterile can be used when the potential bio-burden (the number of organisms on a device) has been reduced such that there is less than one in a million chance of any surviving.
The process of Sterilisation and Disinfection by Sychem:
Sychem are experts in the provision of disinfection solutions, and we offer a wide variety in our chemcials range. We provide two chemical solutions designed for use on the skin and surfaces: Sychem Protect and Sychem Control. Protect is our skin antiseptic solution that offers safe, effective skin cleansing, Disinfection, and Sanitation across many industries. When it comes to surfaces, Control is the ideal solution, offering user-friendly, single-step cleaning and Disinfection across various industries.
What can alter the effectiveness of Sterilisation methods?
The effectiveness of all sterilisation methods can be affected by several factors, including:
- The type and number of micro-organisms that may present on the medical device; some micro-organisms are more resistant to the sterilisation process than others
- The design of the medical device – micro-organisms can be protected by unseen cracks and crevices, which is why cleaning processes must be both thorough and validated; inspection of devices must take into consideration the complex design of some medical devices.
- Without a correctly decontaminated device, you will not be able to sterilise a product.
Visit the Steelco website to discover more about our full range of Autoclaves and Steam sterilisers.
At Sychem, we offer a range of disinfection chemicals, Autoclaves and Washers for use in healthcare, laboratory and life science applications. If you’re interested in how Sychem can help your business or facility, contact the team today on 0845 644 6824, or enquire now.
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