Tips To Ensure Disinfectants Are Effective
A reader writes: “I keep reading about disinfectants not working due to mixing incorrectly or not following directions. Your thoughts on this issue?”
I have expressed concerns in the past regarding the efficacy of disinfectants not mixed or used correctly. Please consider these general thoughts as an opening from which to proceed:
- Different disinfectants can have a variable shelf life that can be impacted by type of water used to dilute it, temperature, exposure to light and time on the shelf.
- RTU (ready to use) products are usually provided in an opaque bottle and oftentimes mixed with distilled or buffered water.
- Products mixed at a dispensing station (or packets) usually use regular tap water, which can vary from site to site as to mineral content and other contaminants.
- Most of the time, product is mixed in the same generic type, clear bottle that can be vulnerable to light.
- It is often stored for extended periods of time resulting in reduced efficacy.
- Dwell time (how long it takes for product to truly disinfect) varies by product.
- The SDS and bottle label should be read/followed closely.
- Use of clean microfiber cloths can help in removing dead or even living microorganisms from a surface thereby enhancing the final results.
- Remember that cleaning a surface first is usually recommended since many disinfectants do not have a detergency effect and can be diminished by soil load.
- Consult with the vendor as to shelf life after being mixed and track how workers are using the products.
- Consulting with the vendor as to best practices and then training to that standard is very important.
- Based on published cleaning times standards, restrooms and other aseptic cleaning areas are very low productivity which means that we need to be careful regarding cutting times to provide these services.
We want to continue to be proactive and professional is guiding the customers on why we do what we do. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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.