Are Disinfectants Causing Long Term Damage to Your Facility Assets?
2020 will be known for many things, but we could certainly crown it the Year of Disinfectants. Individuals and businesses have waged war against COVID-19 with masks and social distancing, and disinfectants have been another weapon in that battle. And the battle continues in 2021.
Early in the pandemic, disinfectant products could be hard to find as demand grew, and many people bought whatever was available. But public awareness has increased over time, and many people are more discerning now. It’s important to look for a product that is both safe AND effective.
Some things you should keep in mind when selecting and using a disinfectant:
- Not all products are approved for use for all pathogens. For use in fighting against COVID-19, check List N, EPA’s list of products that kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 if used according to the label directions
- Pay attention to “dwell time” – the period of time that the disinfectant must remain wet on the treated surface in order to be effective. The EPA’s List N specifies how long a surface must stay wet when using a disinfectant in the fight against COVID-19.
- The CDC recommends that a surface be cleaned before it is disinfected. Applying a disinfectant to a dirty surface can decrease its effectiveness; cleaning first helps ensure that the disinfectant reaches every inch of the surface to which it is applied.
- Beware of the “more is better” approach – Over-application of disinfectants can have a negative impact on occupant health, the environment, and your budget. Use only what you need to accomplish the objective.
- Take time to study the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) before selecting a disinfectant product. Some disinfectant chemistries have a higher level of toxicity and a negative environmental impact.
It’s important to think of the impact that your disinfectant choice will have on your facility, too. When the pandemic began, many cleaning companies immediately introduced disinfection services. However, MilliCare Floor & Textile Care was committed to implementing a protocol that best served our customers while also accounting for continued use, so we partnered with Milliken’s research and development team. Together, we found that many disinfectant chemistries can interfere with stain resistance on textiles, interior finishes, and flooring finishes—which can permanently damage these surfaces. Disinfectant chemicals can also build up and are difficult to remove after repeated applications.
Milliken’s testing determined that:
- Some chlorine-based chemistries, such as bleach, can damage carpet fiber and alter color on flooring products.
- Disinfectants with quaternary ammonium chemistry can interfere with stain performance and cause yellowing or staining. These chemistries can build up with repeated applications and can be difficult to remove.
- Disinfectants can include wetting agents, surfactants (soaps) and other ingredients that leave residues and lead to increase soiling if not completely removed.
MilliCare has carefully selected a disinfectant product, Sporicidin, that has been trusted by cleaning and infection-control professionals for over 30 years. Sporicidin provides hospital-grade disinfection capabilities, but is gentle on your facility’s surfaces and will not damage your flooring or textiles or negatively impact their performance. It has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it will not cause yellowing, build-up, or resoiling, and will not interfere with your carpet’s stain-resistant capabilities.
MilliCare is committed to keeping you and the environment as safe as possible. Sporicidin falls in the lowest EPA toxicity category possible, which is especially important when sanitizing large areas such as flooring.
Disinfectants will continue to be an important tool against COVID-19 and other pathogens. But for facility managers who want to prioritize both facility preservation and occupant safety, it’s vital to choose the safest, most effective disinfectants available and use them in the safest and most effective way. Contact MilliCare to learn more about our Enhanced Hygiene Services and how we can help you protect your facility and the people within it.