A disinfectant is a product which kills all applicable bacteria and viruses. “Disinfecting kills the majority of viruses and bacteria,” points out Diane Calello, MD, executive and medical director of New Jersey Poison Centre, as disinfecting products kill 99.999% of a wide range of germs and microbes. There are two varieties of disinfectant product: alcohol based and non-alcoholic, and both can come in many forms, such as foam emulsion, gel, wipes and spray.
Antibacterial sanitiser spray, or spray disinfectant, is one of the most effective ways to disinfect surfaces, whether it be at a home or a commercial setting, as it covers a large surface area quicker, than for example wipes would.
The science behind the spray
Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria are able to survive on surfaces for days and can be difficult to get rid of unless an antibacterial disinfectant product is used. Both non-alcohol and alcohol-based disinfectants work in a similar way: their chemical composition denatures the proteins of the pathogen’s cell, causing it to split open and die, therefore disabling its capability of making us sick. It is absolutely crucial that we disinfect as well as clean the surfaces, both at home and in commercial settings, as it is the only way to properly ensure that pathogens are removed from our surroundings.
Disinfectant in the form of a spray is one of the more convenient disinfection delivery systems. By spraying the disinfectant, it is ensured that all surfaces receive a comprehensive coating of the antibacterial disinfectant spray, especially in harder to reach places and spaces where a larger surface area needs to be covered. As well as that, spraying the disinfectant is much less time consuming than if you were to use other products such as wipes.
Where can we use spray disinfectant?
One of the great benefits of antibacterial sanitiser spray as well as commercial disinfectant spray is its versatility: it can be used on pretty much all surfaces in our surroundings. Disinfectant products work extremely well on all hard, non-porous surfaces. Here are a few examples of surfaces where disinfectant spray should be used:
- Stainless steel
- Acrylics and resins
- Spray disinfectant also works on more porous surfaces, however, when it does come to surfaces such as fabrics in clothing, furniture upholstery or bedding, as well as carpets, disinfectant products will lose a small percentage of their efficacy.
According to the EPA, you can expect disinfectant products to have a 99.9% efficacy on soft, porous surfaces, as opposed to its standard 99.99% efficacy that it has on hard non-porous ones. Soft surfaces, like the ones mentioned above, are incredibly tough to clean. The soft, porous fabric we find in clothing, bedding and curtains, just to name a few, is difficult to disinfect, as the small holes and gaps in the material make it easier for bacteria and viruses to hide.
Although we cannot completely disinfect fabrics, even the process of cleaning alone will likely get rid of most pathogens. Regular laundering of fabrics and cleaning of soft surfaces will go a long way in keeping them germ-free. In addition, soft and porous surfaces don’t transmit pathogens as easily. So while they’re harder to clean, they’re also much less likely to spread germs from one person to the next than hard and non-porous surfaces are.
Is there a difference between commercial and home disinfection?
There are no major differences between the disinfection practices we undertake at home to the ones that are commonly used in commercial settings. While the surface area covered and the disinfectant spray delivery method may differ, the premise remains the same: first, general cleaning is done to remove any dirt or grime, and then disinfecting, to ensure complete removal of all pathogens.
The disinfection product remains exactly the same too; products like Nuevo disinfectant that we provide here at Hygiene Solutions contain the same powerful active ingredients as our commercial and industrial products, in order to ensure you get the same results across a broad section of harmful pathogens, while still remaining safe to use around animals or little ones.
All commercial spaces should opt to use good disinfection practices by choosing an appropriate commercial disinfectant spray in order to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria and ensure the safety of their clients and the general public. Commercial spaces will have to consider the nature of their base clientele when picking an appropriate product (for example, schools might opt to use non-alcohol-based spray to avoid potential ingestion hazards.)
However, once this decision is made, disinfectant products can be used practically everywhere, particularly in commonly frequented public spaces. Here are a few examples of commonly used spaces where spray disinfectant is a good hygiene practice:
- Locker Rooms, bathrooms, and other sanitary facilities
- Office Spaces
- Restaurants and food preparation areas
- Education facilities
- Public transport
- Public amenities, entryways, corridors
- Healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals
- As commercial disinfectant spray is ideal for industry use, it is already commonly used by healthcare providers, municipality workers, janitors, commercial and residential facility managers, and safety authorities.
Disinfectant delivery systems
As already mentioned above, the biggest and main difference between commercial and home disinfection is the delivery system which is used to spray the product. Understandably, bigger facilities have a much larger area that they need to cover and often have many more high-touch points than your average household. They will often opt for disinfectant delivery systems that are able to cover a large surface area quickly and efficiently, as depending on the facility, disinfection practices might have to be carried out a few times per day.
Fogging-mist delivery system
An example of a disinfectant delivery system that would be used commercially would be a fogging-mist delivery system. This works by using a fogging machine, which creates an extremely fine mist, that is then capable of diffusing onto surfaces and many hard to reach areas that can’t be reached by traditional cleaning methods. It is particularly effective at removing unpleasant odours and ensuring the highest level of hygiene, especially when in facilities that are frequently exposed to infectious pathogens, such as hospitals.
Disinfectants like Nuevo that we provide here at Hygiene Solutions, kill an enormous range of microorganisms and are non-alcohol-based, meaning that it can be safely used to deep clean by fogging. It is also safe to use without the need for special personal protective equipment (PPE) or specialist training.
Fogging-mist delivery systems are hugely important for the hospitality industry, cruise ships, airlines, healthcare facilities and public transport. This innovative way of delivering disinfectant allows the user to disinfect interiors, nurseries, classrooms, ambulances, buses, cold rooms, refrigerators and even ventilation systems and ducts quickly and efficiently.
Handle Hygiene – An automatic door handle disinfector
Another good example of a spray disinfection delivery system is our very own Handle Hygiene product. It is a simple delivery mechanism, which automatically delivers a measured dose of antimicrobial solution onto a door handle each time the door closes. This reduces contamination and risk of infection which is associated with manually contacting door handles and push panels.
Using Nuevo disinfectant, which kills 99.999% of all pathogens, including bacteria and viruses, this delivery system is a perfect way to continuously deliver disinfectant products throughout the day, without much upkeep.
Top tips for cleaning and disinfecting your home
Although the risk of coming into contact with a pathogen is much more likely when we are in our outside environment, it is extremely important to frequently clean and disinfect our homes. People often tend to let their guard down when at home, especially when it comes to hand washing or the frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces, which can then lead to unwanted micro-organisms that can cause us to be sick, within our households.
First, it’s essential to identify what actually are the high-touch surfaces in our homes- being consciously aware of what and where they are can make your cleaning routine much more efficient and effective. Of course, there are many that are common to every household, such as:
- Table surfaces
- Hard dining chairs (seat, back, and arms)
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- Faucets and faucet knobs
- Toilets (seat and handle)
- Light switches
- TV remote controls
However, there will likely be some high-touch surfaces that will be tailored to your home and your lifestyle, for example:
- Game controllers
- Gym equipment
- Children’s toys
- Musical instruments
Once you identify the high-touch surfaces in your home, it should be common practice to make sure you clean and disinfect them at least once every two days, in order to prevent the spread of pathogens within your household.
First clean, then disinfect
Before you disinfect any surfaces in your home, it’s critical you clean them beforehand. Cleaning refers to the physical or mechanical removal of dirt and grime, as well as a portion of germs on a given surface. Wiping down a countertop with a damp cloth is a good example of cleaning.
Wipe down all the high-touch surfaces with warm-soapy water or a cleaning spray using a clean damp cloth before you disinfect, in order to remove any contaminants such as any grime, dust or debris.
After you clean all the surfaces, you can apply surface appropriate disinfectant. Disinfecting refers to the killing of 99.999% of microorganisms. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray.
You may also opt to use a sanitiser rather than a disinfectant. Sanitising reduces the germ and bacteria colonies on a given surface to a less dangerous level. The Environmental Protection Agency defines sanitisers as chemical products that remove microbes from a surface, but do not kill them completely.
Don’t forget to clean the cleaning products
Although this may sound rather redundant, don’t forget to clean your cleaning products and tools. Cleaning appliances are often the most overlooked in households, so ensure you wipe down mop and vacuum cleaner handles, as well as frequently used spray and product bottles. Most importantly, make sure you wash all damp cloths, tea towels, sponges, mop and dust cloths after each use. As they are used to clean, the gathered virus and bacteria colonies will grow within the damp fabric if it is left unattended and isn’t cleaned straight away.
Of course, it is important to use chemical disinfectants safely. Always read and follow the directions on the label of cleaning and disinfection products to ensure safe and effective use.
- Wear gloves when using any chemical cleaning product or disinfectant
- Ensure good ventilation (open windows and doors)
- Use only the amount of cleaning product recommended on the label
- Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
- Label all diluted cleaning solutions
- Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
- Do not mix products or chemicals
- Do not eat, drink, or breathe cleaning and disinfection products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm
- Do not wipe or bathe pets with any cleaning and disinfection products