If there was one thing everyone was talking about in 2020, it was surface disinfection. From the moment the novel coronavirus made its first appearance, surface sanitizing was a top of mind for almost every industry. You may be shocked to hear that more than 600,000 bacteria live on one square inch of human skin[i]. For humans, most bacteria are harmless. But species that cause diseases, called pathogens, may be harmful or even fatal.
For the average consumer, any sanitizer they could get their hands on seemed sufficient to clean and disinfect. For others with specific applications, the need for an efficient, safe, and cost-effective way to keep employees and visitors safe requires specialized solutions. This may include being safe for food contact-surfaces, quick-drying due to sensitive electronics areas, or many other reasons.
While many conversations have shifted from surface sanitation and disinfection to air purification, the reality is that surface cleaning and disinfection is still crucial. Ongoing maintenance of healthy workplaces and production environments requires surface sanitation and disinfection solutions.
Most sanitizers fall into one of two categories: water-based or alcohol-based. Alcohol-based sanitizers and disinfectants work best in specific environments. High traffic locations, sensitive electronics, healthcare or critical care environments, and anywhere quick-drying action is required. Water-based sanitizers and disinfectants work best for general
disinfection needs when surfaces can remain wet for up to 10 minutes.
If your applications are less time-sensitive, then a more affordable water-based solution might be better suited. More often than not, water-based sanitizers have longer “kill” claim times and require surfaces to remain wet for extended periods.
In addition to the protection against disease, water-based sanitizers can offer many benefits to users, including safe for use on food contact surfaces, HVAC system components, etc. These disinfectants can also be applied using portable disinfectant sprayers or chemical fogging systems. Water-based sanitizers are perfect for location when dwell times can be longer.
When to Use Water-Base Sanitizers
Water-Based sanitizers are best for general surfaces and those environments where surfaces can remain wet. Refer to the product label for specific information on application rates and approved applications.
There are a variety of alcohol-based sanitizers on the market today – and thanks to COVID-19, the number of products to choose from can be overwhelming.
Alcohol-based sanitizers and disinfectants are very potent and can quickly reduce the number of active microbes or viruses on a surface. They dry quickly, offer excellent sanitation and disinfection properties, and are generally safe on sensitive electronic surfaces like scales, machinery, computers, kiosks, and more. Also, high traffic areas that may require quick drying disinfectants like door handles, security panels, and more.
They have been used to clean and disinfect surfaces everywhere, from large, public office buildings to hospitals to restaurants. Alcohol-based disinfectants are also the product of choice within the healthcare, dental, veterinary, and ambulatory environments due to their high efficacy and quick-drying characteristics.
When to Use Alcohol-Base Sanitizers
Simply put, you can use alcohol-based sanitizers in virtually every setting. Organizations like the CDC, FDA, and WHO all encourage using alcohol-based sanitizers to clean all manner of surfaces. In fact, alcohol is still the most-used type of disinfectant in today’s hospitals.
If you’re going to use alcohol to clean your office or other space, it is essential to make sure you’re using a solution appropriate for the application. Refer to the product labels for specific application environments and rates. Food production environments should be careful to use products approved for use in food-contact environments. In contrast, healthcare environments should focus on disinfection efficacy. Office, educational, and other general settings can utilize a variety of choices in alcohol-based disinfectants.
This could all feel very intimidating, but luckily we have just the solution. Check out our Sanitation & Disinfection Buying guide to find which one will be your perfect solution.
[i] Science Clarified. “We Are Surrounded.” Scienceclarified.com. http://www.scienceclarified.com/scitech/Bacteria-and-Viruses/We-Are-Surrounded.html
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