While looking around the internet, I keep seeing funny (and sometimes crude) pictures with a caption “____ like a Boss!” You can fill in the blank by doing a Google search of “Like a Boss.” From what I can tell, the term is the equivalent of “Numero Uno” or “Top Dog.” Being an older adult who wants to seem cool, hip, off the chain, the bomb, lets talk about “Disinfecting like a BOSS!”

Of course, I am talking about infection prevention or infection control. You, too, can “Disinfect like a BOSS!” So, let’s get started with some things you need to know if you’re going to be BOSS.

Read disinfectant labels like a Boss. 

Did you know that a disinfectant’s label is a legal, enforceable document? The label supersedes what the salesman told you or what the sales brochure claims. It is important for you and your staff to know what is on that disinfectant’s label. Look for the following information for proper selection and use in the workplace:

1. EPA Registration Number—either as a set of two numbers (e.g., 9999-8888) or three numbers (e.g., 9999-8888-7777)

2. Organisms on the “kill list.” Look for the ones that you are most concerned about in your facility, such as MRSA, VRE, Acinetobacter baumannii, influenza A and B, Norovirus, etc.

3. Is the disinfectant efficacious against both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms?

4. Dilution instructions. These should be clear and specific. For example, what ppm water hardness, in the presence of blood, different pathogens, in order for the disinfectant to be tuberculocidal, can it be mixed in potable water or does it have to be “mixed in sterile water only?”

5. Does it have a shelf-life? If so, how does your facility insure that the disinfectant is not out of date?

6. Use and reuse instructions. Again, these should be clear and specific. Is the product a “One Step Cleaner and Disinfectant,” or is it only effective on pre-cleaned surfaces?

7. If the product has differing kill times for seven different organisms, you have to go with the highest number of minutes. Since you don’t know what organism is on the surface, you have to go with the organism with the longest time to kill.

Watch for even more techniques to help "Disinfect Like A Boss" in the coming days.


J. Darrel Hicks, REH, CHESP, is the author of "Infection Control For Dummies" and has over 30 years of experience in the jan/san industry. For a free 30-minute phone consultation, contact him at darrel@darrelhicks.com or through his website at www.darrelhicks.com.