Disinfectant: the do's and don’ts

We have had a LOT of questions about disinfectant. Instead of making you do ALL the research yourself, we put all the information and FAQs here for your reference. In this new time of constantly worrying about all of the germs that surfaces contain, we thought it would be helpful to let you all know how to use disinfectant in a way that maximizes your wellness.


What do I look for in a disinfectant?


So, the first thing you want to look for when buying a disinfectant is check for a  label on the bottle that says EPA approved. A little clarification on clearing supplies: products that are FDA approved can go on your skin, i.e. hand sanitizer, products that are EPA approved are approved for surfaces and other objects so make sure you use FDA approved products on your skin and EPA approved products on your surfaces. Also, pay attention to the disinfectant versus antibacterial labeling. Antibacterial products are for your skin, disinfectant is for your surfaces so any wipes, spray or liquid you buy should clearly say disinfectant on the label. In addition, just like with hand sanitizer, you want to make sure the disinfectant you buy is not expired. When cleaning supplies expire, it loses its ability to fight germs. Lastly, you want a solution that is 60% alcohol, just like hand sanitizer, and is made out of bleach or is bleach-based. 


What is the best way to use disinfectant?


Always start by reading the directions on the label. This can seem like common sense but many companies vary on their best practices depending on how their product is made so the best option to maximize cleanliness and limit harm is to read the particular instructions for the bottle you have. After you read the directions and know how to best use your product, the CDC and other related sites recommend starting from the corner of your surface and making your way across in a methodical way so you can cover the entire surface. As for amount, again, this will be listed on the label. Products vary on their potency and spreadability so you may need more solution for some products and less with others. For any solution you use, however, you will want to leave the solution to sit for at least one minute. Ideally you will want to wait until the surface is visibly dry. 


Which type of disinfectant should I use?


There are many brands and types out there; liquids, sprays and wipes can all be effective in killing germs and keeping your surfaces clean. The decision between which type of disinfectant really depends on convenience. If you have a large surface, liquid disinfectant is probably the way to go because of its breadth and spreadability, however, this method creates the most spillage. Spray is likely the most convenient and cost-effective option because you can spray the product directly on the surface, limited spill. Wipes are recommended for smaller surfaces and electronic devices as sprays and liquids can damage these surfaces or are inefficient due to the surface’s size. Just like sprays and liquids, wipes must be EPA approved to be efficient of surfaces and those that are, are not suitable for skin. We would also like to recommend our liquid disinfectant for cleaning larger surfaces.

 

Should bleach be diluted?

 

Bleach should be diluted, meaning watered down, at a 1:100 ratio. That means for every one part 5% sodium hypochlorite (the acting disinfector in bleach or disinfectant) there should be 99 parts water. The lower percentage of sodium hypochlorite you use, the more of it you should use. For example, if it is a 2.5% sodium hypochlorite the ration would be 2 parts sodium hypochlorite to 98 parts water. It is important to remember that undiluted bleach releases toxic chemicals when exposed to sunlight so please store it in a cold, dark environment and out of reach from children. If you are adventurous and want to attempt to dilute your own bleach, (I could never), it is advised that you dilute it fresh daily and discard the unused portions within 24 hours

 

What are some important things to remember when using disinfectant?


There are some important things to remember when using disinfectant to ensure effectiveness and limit the harm these chemicals can cause you or your home. First, make sure you wipe down surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting. Dirt, debris or other items, if left on the surface, can block the disinfectant from getting to the germs and killing them. Also, you’ll want to keep the area where you’re using the disinfectant ventilated. Disinfectant is made with many harsh chemicals that can be harmful so make sure you allow the product to air out. Wear gloves and wash your hands after using a disinfectant. As I mentioned before, disinfectants are EPA approved which means the product is not suited for or can cause harm to your skin. Lastly, never mix bleach with other cleaning solutions as it could cause very toxic fumes that could harm you or your home. 



We recommend checking out our hand sanitizer when shopping. You can purchase it from the comfort of your home and have it sent right to your doorstep!




Want to know where I got this information? Check out my resources:

 

By: Ally Williams