VIRUSES - Are you Killing Germs or just Spreading them Around?

The best method to prevent illness is reducing the spread of germs.

Like most companies, you probably have a few different types of cleaning products and disinfectants that you currently use. Like most things in life there are plenty of chemicals to choose from, but understanding what the ingredients are is confusing unless you're a chemist.

So what's the best criteria?

  • What chemicals are in the solution/s that you currently use?

  • Are they toxic to humans, animals or the environment?

  • Do they leave a residue?

  • Are they corrosive?

  • Are they expensive?

  • What is the shelf life?

  • Is there a better and healthier option available?

How many germs are on surfaces?

Office phones host around 25,000 germs per square inch. Office desks are more than 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat and the area on your desk where your hands rest has around 10,000 bacteria.

People often believe that simply applying a disinfectant product and wiping it off will get the job done and eliminate harmful bacteria from from surfaces. But disinfectants are often misused, resulting in dangerous bacterial growth such as E.Coli, Salmonella and more. And if you're only using wipes, your workforce and family may be facing even more health risks.

Cleaning and disinfecting is the best way to reduce and control the spread of germs throughout hard non-porous surfaces and porous surfaces in your workplace and home. Not sure if you should be using a cleaner or disinfectant in your facility? If you are disinfecting, you should be using both.

Most cleaners don't disinfect, and most disinfectants don't clean.

Understanding the distinction between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting is important. While cleaning refers to the physical or mechanical removal of dirt and grime, as well as a portion of the germs on a given surface, sanitizing means reducing germ colonies down to a less dangerous level. Disinfecting means to "KILL" applicable bacteria and viruses on a surface to an EPA-designated, extremely low tolerance.

Always Clean Before you Disinfect

It is important to clean or remove any visible soils before disinfecting. Cleaning removes loose soils, preparing the surface or object to be disinfected.

Disinfecting kills germs on the surface, preventing them from spreading. If a surface is not cleaned first, germs can hide under soils and reduce the efficacy of the disinfectant.

Dwell time (Kill time) is critical

If you miss even an inch of surface or you have not let the disinfectant remain on the surface for the proper amount of time, you are allowing germs to reproduce and continue spreading.

All disinfecting products need to "stay wet" on the surface for a specific length of time to kill all bacteria and viruses. This can be referred to as "kill time, dwell time and/or contact time." While disinfecting wipes seem convenient, getting them to do their intended job is tougher than you'd expect. They're often used incorrectly, making them far less useful than one might think in the fight against illness-causing pathogens.

The kill time of a disinfectant varies by product, and can always be found on the product label. Disinfectant wipes typically instruct you to leave the cleaning surface visibly wet for 4-10 minutes, in order to eliminate dangerous illness-causing bacteria including Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella, MRSA, Norovirus, cold, flu and more.

If a disinfectant dries too quickly, EPA regulations (and often the product's label) dictate that it must be reapplied until the total kill time is reached.