Your Disinfectant FAQs Answered

Since the coronavirus pandemic first came to the United States last spring, we’ve fielded hundreds of questions about disinfectants, from how to choose the best formula to the most important areas to disinfect. We’ve compiled some of our most frequently-asked questions in this blog post with our experts answers to clear up any lingering confusion on disinfectants and the best ways to keep your facility healthy and clean.

What’s the difference between disinfecting and cleaning?

Cleaning is the act of removing dirt, debris, germs or bacteria from a surface. When you wipe down an object with a rag, you’re removing dirt and debris, and potentially removing germs or bacteria, but those that remain are still alive on the surface. Disinfecting actually kills bacteria and viruses.

It’s important to always clean surfaces before you disinfect. Because cleaning removes some bacteria and viruses, this first step makes it easier for disinfectants to their work.

How can I tell if a disinfectant is effective against the novel coronavirus?

The EPA maintains a list of disinfectants approved for use against the novel coronavirus. You can find the complete list here.

How long does it take for disinfectants to work?

All formulas are different. Look for a dwell or contact time on your product’s label — this is the amount of time a surface must remain wet with the product to be effective. For example, Triple S’s #3x Renegade kills SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in just three minutes. Other disinfectants may take as long as ten minutes to kill germs and bacteria.

What does “broad spectrum efficacy” mean?

According to the EPA, disinfectants categorized as “broad spectrum” are effective against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Sanitizers are never classified as broad spectrum by the EPA because they only reduce bacteria levels.

What’s the difference between a disinfectant and a sanitizer?

A sanitizer reduces bacteria on surfaces to levels that are considered safe by public health organizations. Disinfectants kill all bacteria on surfaces.

One does “one step disinfectant” mean?

One-step disinfectants clean and disinfect in one simple step! We do recommend pre-cleaning for heavily soiled areas, but these formulas are great time and energy savers for regular cleaning and disinfection.

Do you have questions about disinfectants not covered here? Contact us today to talk to our cleaning experts about the best solutions for keeping your facility healthy, clean and safe through the pandemic and beyond.

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