Disinfectants are one of the most common chemicals used in general cleaning applications. Whether it be for household cleaning or for more serious tasks like a crime scene cleanup, this antimicrobial agent does wonders for removing bacteria and breaking down dirt and grime. It’s important to know more about the products you’re using to ensure that it’s both safe and effective.
Today we’ll talk about some interesting facts about disinfectants and some of these may actually surprise you. Read on to find out.
Disinfectants are regulated by the EPA
Antimicrobial agents are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure its efficacy. They require manufacturers to add clear labels to their products along with concise usage instructions. Other warning labels and important information are required as well. Any product that is registered with the EPA as a disinfectant can be used as an antimicrobial cleaner as long as it is used according to instructions.
One of the most common disinfectants used for general cleaning applications is bleach. Some alternatives to bleach that are regulated by the EPA are sanitisers and quaternary ammonium compounds. The difference between sanitisers and disinfectants is that sanitisers reduce the growth of bacteria while disinfectants kill the bacteria.
Disinfectants aren’t effective in cleaning carpets or couches
As a general purpose cleaning agent, bleach is quite good at cleaning hard surfaces as well as clothing items. But using bleach to clean carpets or couches may not be as effective. This is because carpets and couches are porous materials and the bleach cannot fully penetrate the pores for effective cleaning. Laundry detergents with a mix of Lysol have been popping up to suggest improved bacterial killing in porous materials like carpets.
Mixing bleach with other chemicals is dangerous
One mistake most people make is mixing bleach with other chemicals like ammonia. They believe that mixing chemicals together can increase the potency of the disinfectant and thus result in a more effective clean. This is entirely false and it can lead to serious or even life-threatening consequences.
Mixing bleach with ammonia can cause a chemical reaction and release fumes that are capable of anything from watery eyes down to respiratory problems. When these chemicals are mixed in large amounts, the fumes can prove to be fatal if inhaled in high concentrations.
It’s important to follow the directions
Disinfectants vary in strengths and their efficacy is dictated on how the user adheres to the instructions. Most of them work under certain conditions in order to kill bacteria and viruses. Things such as dilution ratio and curing time have an impact on how strong the disinfectant is once it’s used. Avoid pouring bleach directly onto any surfaces as not only can it cause damage, but it can also be ineffective when not diluted properly.
Disinfectants are versatile cleaning chemicals that have a wide variety of cleaning applications. These facts will help you better understand how these chemicals work so you can make the most out of cleaning and disinfecting your homes.