Choosing a Disinfectant

Choosing a Disinfectant

When it comes to disinfectants, there a lot of options on the market and they all do different things.

When choosing a disinfectant for your facility you need to know what you are trying to get rid of. Not all disinfectants are made the same. Some kill one type of germ and others kill other types of germs.

Why Disinfect
Microorganisms and bacteria can be found on every single surface, no matter where you are. While most are harmless to humans, some of them, called pathogens, can be deadly.

Disinfecting regularly is a key part of preventing the spread of illnesses like the cold or flu. Today, disinfecting has a key role in preventing the spread of Covid-19, the sickness responsible for the pandemic.

Put Them to Work
In order to rid surfaces of bacteria and germs, disinfectants are chemic agents registered and tested by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Each formula contains an active ingredient. This ingredient is what actually kills pathogens and other bacteria.

To kill bacteria, the active ingredient either disrupts or does severe damage to the bacteria’s cells. To help these ingredients, other things are added to them for other purposes.
Surfactants are what help disinfectants wet a surface and help clean it.

All Kinds of Kinds
Like I said above, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a disinfectant.

A few categories for disinfectants include Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, QUATS, that is a top choice for facilities in the medical field and often disinfect and clean surfaces at the same time.

A category best suited for cleaning bodily fluids are Chlorine Compounds. However, they can cause corrosion and irritation if used improperly.

Some other disinfectants are Phenolic Compounds, Iodophors, Aldehydes, Alcohols, and Hydrogen Peroxide.

Choosing Your Disinfectant
When choosing a disinfectant, there are a few key things you need to think about.

First, you need to know what you are trying to kill. You will want to make sure the disinfectant is effective against what bacteria you are most concerned about.

Second, how quickly the formula works is another key point. You will want to make sure the surface will stay wet the entirety of the formula’s “dwell time”. Also, you will want to make sure the surface will not be used until the formula has time to do its job.

Then, you need to think about safety and how easy the disinfectant is to use. You will want to check toxicity and flammable ratings of the product. Make sure you get a product that is easy to use. You don’t want a multistep formula if you don’t have enough time to perform all the steps.

Choosing a disinfectant may not seem like that big of a deal. However, if you work in the medical field it is one of the most important decisions you can make.

From finding the right formula to fight off pathogens you are most worried about, to making sure the process and kill time is compatible with the facility procedures.


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