Much like all of you, we at Microfiber Wholesale are watching and waiting as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop in our communities. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some information that we’ve culled from sources like the WHO, CDC and EPA as well as trusted brands like Clorox and Lysol on how to kill a virus and disinfect your homes and workplaces with products you most likely already have. This will help slow the spread of the virus by preventing unnecessary trips to the store for supplies and contact with others.
As noted by the CDC, cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning is the removal of dirt, debris and bacteria from surfaces. Microfiber does this well with just water as the dirt clings to the fabric but using a cotton cloth with water and a bit of detergent is acceptable as well. Disinfecting uses a chemical agent to kill germs or bacteria. Both the WHO and CDC recommend using chlorine bleach as a disinfecting agent. It is recommended that surfaces be cleaned prior to disinfecting.
ALLOW PROPER DWELL TIME
One of the keys to disinfecting, and one that is so often overlooked, is dwell or contact time. According to Becker Hospital Review, the best way to ensure that your disinfectant is effective is to make sure that the surface remains visibly wet for the full recommended contact time. EPA approved disinfecting agents will have the recommended contact time listed on their labels. Clorox recommends a 5 minute contact time for their regular bleach. This means that once the surface has been cleaned, in order to disinfect, the bleach solution (half a cup of bleach for every gallon of water) would need to remain wet for five minutes before being wiped away and air dried. Lysol’s products have similar recommendations. It is not effective to simply take a wipe and run it across your door knobs and light switches.
NATURAL OR CHEMICAL PRODUCTS?
Aside from bleach, the CDC also mentions an alcohol solution of at least 70% alcohol. Household disinfectants are also effective, as long as the label instructions are followed. While vinegar is a natural alternative that can be used as a disinfectant, it is not as effective as common chemical disinfectants such as bleach, alcohol or household disinfectants from trusted brands.
TO KILL VIRUSES ON SURFACES
For hard flat surfaces, like floors, countertops and tables, soak your mop or cloth in the disinfectant solution and wring it out slightly, just so it’s not dripping. Apply the solution and leave it on for five minutes and then rinse with clean water and let it air dry. For more challenging surfaces, like door knobs, cabinet, appliance or drawer handles, spray on the solution or simply wrap your treated towel around the surface to let the chemical do its job. Use a clean cloth for each surface area and do not put a soiled cloth back in your solution.