A lot of companies use the phrase “Kills 99.9% of Germs” as a selling point. The problem, this doesn’t actually mean a lot. This statement is misleading and can be dangerous in some situations.
When a disinfectant says it kills 99.9% of germs you would think it meant 99.9% of all the germs out there. Wrong. This just means it is good at killing specific germs.
Read the Label
When purchasing a disinfectant, don’t take the large print too literally. Make sure you read the fine print to find out what the large print actually means.
Disinfectants only kill specific germs that they are targeting. Now, they are really good at killing those specific germs, but don’t forget all the other germs that are probably hanging around too.
Also, if you see “Kills in 30 seconds” in large print, the small print usually clarifies that not all of the targeted germs are killed that fast and some may need 5 or 10 minutes to die.
Disinfectants Are Diverse
Contrary to popular belief, the differences in disinfectant are not just color and fragrance.
Every formula out there targets different things. This means that you may have two formulas that kill the same pathogens but different strains of that pathogen. No disinfectant is able to kill every type of germ found on hard surfaces.
The process that rids surfaces of all germs is called sterilizing. Sterilants are the only products that can kill all pathogens.
Make the Right Decision
When choosing a disinfectant, make sure to read the label to find out if it is the right choice for your needs.
Facilities in the medical field often use more than one disinfectant, while daycares or schools will mostly concern with cold, flus, and RSV pathogens.
Not all surfaces can be used by any disinfectant. Make sure to check and see what surfaces a disinfectant will not cause damage too. This is found on the label.
A couple of other things to think about are how safe the formula is to use around people, especially if they have skin or smell sensitivities. Then, you can look check the method of delivery. So, is it a wipe or an aerosol, and is it ready to use or does it need to be diluted?
Again, all of these things can be found on the label.
Disinfectants come in wide varieties and they all do something different.
When it comes to trying to choose just one disinfectant, you may be finding yourself in the middle of an aisle in a store being drawn to the ones with the label that says “Kills 99.9% of Germs” in the largest print. Do Not Fall For It.
Remember that killing every single germ on a surface is sterilization, not disinfecting. Disinfectants only kill 99.9% of the specified germs it targets. These germs are listed on the label.
That is key to the whole process. Read the label in its entirety to choose the right formula.