Surface disinfectants and sanitizers reduce the number of germs on hard nonporous surfaces to keep germs from spreading. Clean surfaces using cleaners that remove dirt and other impurities before using disinfectants or sanitizers. Disinfectants are antimicrobial chemicals that destroy or eliminate most pathogens and disease-causing microorganisms on cleaned surfaces, lowering the risk of spreading infection. Sanitizers are antimicrobial chemicals that reduce germs on a cleaned surface, but may not completely destroy or eliminate all bacteria or viruses. Disinfectants and sanitizers are commonly used in hospitals, schools, office buildings, restaurants, and hotels.