Sterilization, disinfection, antisepsis, degermination, and sanitization are all methods used to reduce the number of microorganisms in a certain environment or on certain objects. Although they are similar processes with some overlapping goals, each one is unique and serves its own specific purpose.
Sterilization is the process of eliminating all living organisms as well as spores. It involves using physical means such as steam under pressure or dry heat to kill every single microorganism in an area or object. This can be done either in a laboratory setting or through more common practices like boiling medical instruments before use. Sterilization is often carried out when working with highly contagious diseases that have multiple long-term effects and need to be prevented at any cost.