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The Role of Disinfectants

We’ve been hearing a lot about disinfectants lately. Wipes and sprays are in high demand and frequently recommended for protecting us from illnesses like the novel coronavirus. But what are they and what do they do?

Cleaning is a great way to remove dirt and germs from surfaces. Disinfectants go a step further and kill the germs on that surface. They work best on hard, non-porous surfaces and can dramatically lower the risk for spreading infection.

How to Disinfect

  • Pre-clean any surfaces prior to disinfecting to remove any excess dirt or grime.
  • After disinfecting, the surface needs to stay wet for the entire time indicated on the product label; this is called contact time.
  • If disinfecting food contact surfaces or toys, rinse with water after they air dry.
  • Pay particular attention to disinfecting things that come into frequent contact with your hands, like your phone.
  • If using a disinfectant wipe, throw out after using. Do not flush any non-flushable products.

For more information on proper disinfection technique, see our Coronavirus resource page.

 

Storing Disinfectants

It’s National Safety Month, and a good time for a reminder that these products should be used and stored with care. Don’t mix them with other cleaning products and find a place to store them that’s up and out of sight of children.

 

Learn More

What Are Antibacterial Disinfectants, Anyway?

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting Surfaces

Disinfecting and Disinfectants

 

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