Most consumers think that if an implement has been washed (with soap and water) it is clean and free of bacteria/germs/pathogens.  Not so, as is the case in the medical/dental field.  Here are some definitions to help you figure out what the difference is between the three:

Sanitation – procedure that leads to proper and thorough cleaning with soap and water of an implement/tools.

Disinfection – hospital grade disinfectant used, after sanitation steps, that kills all pathogens on a surface or implement/tools.

Sterilization – use of very high temperatures and pressurized steam to kill pathogens on implements/tools.

Sanitation has to be done first for disinfection and sterilization to be effective.   Disinfection is sufficient in ensuring a consumer is free of pathogens when getting nail services.  There is no reason for the skin to be cut during a nail service, so the use of sterilization isn’t necessary.  Proper disinfection steps ensure not passing on pathogens to other clients.  Some states have started requiring sterilization of implements, some have not.  In the State of Oklahoma sterilization is not required.