People usually say that sterilization and sanitation are the same, but there are a lot of differences between both of them.
Sterilization can be simply defined as the use of chemicals, gases, to make microorganism to be killed or inactivated, which can cause contamination or disease. There are several methods used in sterilization, which are ozone, ethylene oxide gas, and liquid chemicals. Sterilization is mostly done in medical facilities such as hospitals.
Sanitation is the process in which pathogenic microorganisms are reduced in numbers; sanitation is mostly done to avoid having thick layers of bacteria from developing. There are different sanitizing agents like sodium dodecylbenzene, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine gas, organic chlorine, etc. Sanitation helps to prevent people from getting ill from microbes.
Some say that sterilization and sanitation are the same but actually, they have some differences that will help you understand how you should use them further. When you sterilize something, this means that you are completely removing the microscopic life that you can find on something. You normally do this on surfaces.
For example, now that there is a pandemic, you would usually sterilize various items so that you can be sure that there is no virus on the surfaces. Aside from surfaces, you also use this when you are cleaning various tools that you will be using. This can be very common for items that are used in hospitals. When you say sanitize, this can coincide with cleaning.