Using a liquid sanitizing agent such as chlorine, iodine and peroxide as part of a cleaning and sanitization process requires that that agent remain on the surface to which it is applied long enough to kill all the pathogens it possibly can. This is equally true whether the agent is wiped, sponged, mopped, sprayed, or electrostatically sprayed.
The intermediate level of disinfectant, as defined by the EPA, is the highest level all environmental disinfectants should aspire to. It means it is effective against most bacteria, viruses, and spores. Chlorine bleach is the only of these disinfectant agents that is universally classified as an intermediate disinfectant, but it also has numerous precautions included for its use – combustibility in combination with other chemicals and severe tissue irritation being the most serious.
A comparison of EPA-approved disinfectants (chlorine bleach, quaternary ammonium, hydrogen peroxide, phenols) reveals that dwell times vary from as little as 30 seconds to as much as ten minutes depending on the target pathogen. Wiping off the surface prior to the completion of that dwell time drastically reduces the antimicrobial effect of the disinfectant. When choosing a disinfectant, dwell time matters. The difference between one minute and ten may not seem like much, but when multiplied by a hundred or a thousand surfaces to be disinfected, it becomes very significant. The likelihood that the personnel responsible for disinfection will wait the necessary time before wiping off the disinfectant is increased in inverse proportion to the dwell time. Then there is always the concern on how breaks are taken or other disruptions that can cause the cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces to be inadvertently missed. These variabilities are a reality when relying on human labor to ensure all surfaces are adequately cleaned, sanitized or disinfected.
A recent study also showed that janitorial efforts can actually contribute to the accelerated propagation of infection – as when a hurried wipe-down of a sink brings pathogens lurking in the drain out into the sink surface and onto the faucet handles. These studies are showing that microfiber towels can be more effective at spreading microbes than removing them when not used correctly. With SafeHandles wrappers on those handles, any sloppiness of this kind can be mitigated, and further manual transmission of those pathogens can be prevented.
For janitorial companies, time is money, but for their clients, an illness-free environment is money. SafeHandles products contain a slow-release sanitizer and the time it takes to install them is similar to the amount of dwell time needed for a traditional disinfectant. It’s important to weigh the time involved in using these methods correctly versus the cost and time involved in application of SafeHandles’ installed disinfectant products.