As you may remember, sanitizing is a kill rate of 60 to 99 percent using a disinfecting product and sufficient dwell time.  Disinfecting has a kill rate of 99.999999 percent with sufficient dwell time.  Simply spray/wipe is sanitizing in most cases.  When microfiber cloths were introduced, it was considered a major improvement since they could pick up at 0.3 microns thereby capturing dead and possibly living organisms resulting in better results.  We have noted that mixing disinfectants can be tricky in that tap water (chlorine, fluoride, etc.), time (24 hours max), exposure to light (think a quality beer in a green or brown bottle to protect flavor) and temperature (hot usually is worse) can defeat a disinfectant’s ability to kill.  

 

Some of the common disinfectants are bleach (harsh, dangerous, fumes, etc.), phenols (does not kill TB and has other issues), and quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) are used extensively to disinfect everything from class rooms to hospitals to clinics.  A growing concern is the impact that microfiber (and possibly cotton) cloths defeat the disinfecting properties that they are supposed to enhance.  

 

I have not seen research on how microfiber and cotton cloths impact peroxide based cleaners. There is also the possibility that not all microfibers are the same so some may not have the same negative impact on disinfectants.  Please remember that for a product to be called a disinfectant it must have an EPA registration number.   Also note that there are safer disinfectants but not are truly green since they kill organisms (which is what we want them to do).

 

One microfiber manufacturer claims that their cloths do not degrade the efficacy of disinfectants but I have not seen much data on that claim yet.  Will keep you updated as more information comes.

 

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

 

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.