How to Select the Right Disinfectant for the Job

Think all disinfectant solutions are the same? Think again. Various formula makeups are effective on a range of different pathogens. While some solutions are especially effective against cold and flu viruses, others are better at eliminating bacteria found in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s vital that you’re using the right disinfectant for the job – otherwise, you risk wasting your time.

If you’ve ever wondered what the phrase “kills 99.9 percent of germs” actually means, it’s important to keep in mind that an asterisk usually follows this phrase. The asterisk directs you to look deeper into the specific germs the product actually targets. Contrary to what you might expect, this clean doesn’t mean that the products kills 99.9 percent of germs on a surface. Instead, it kills 99.9 percent of germs the solution lists in the kill claims area of the label. Not every disinfectant will work for your specific needs.

As you peruse your options for cleaning, keep these factors in mind when choosing a disinfectant:

Kill Claims

First, consider which germs you’re hoping to eliminate. Be sure to choose a disinfectant that kills the specific pathogens of concern in your space. If you’re trying to eliminate viruses, for instance, you’ll want a product that specifically targets cold and flu germs. A healthcare facility may require a range of solutions to combat the pathogens patients may be exposed to. A veterinarian, on the other hand, will opt for products that have specific claims around animal viruses like parvovirus.

Kill Times

In a rush? You’ll want to consult the label of your disinfectant before committing to using it. Each product has their own unique kill time, or length of time a disinfectant needs to stay wet on a surface to kill viruses and bacteria. They typically range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or longer. Timing is an important factor to compare during your disinfectant research, since they vary so drastically from one product to the next.

Ease of Use 

Disinfectants come in many different forms. From aerosol to wipes, concentrates to ready to use, all feature different kill claims. Some liquid disinfectants can clean and disinfect in one fell swoop, but others require multiple steps. Keep this in mind as you weigh convenience against your supply budget.

Make the Right Choice

Not every disinfectant solution is right for every cleaning task. Be sure to fully read product labels to ensure you’re choosing the right product and applying it properly. Need help choosing the right products? We’re here to help!