By Jim Flieler, VP of Sales for Charlotte Products

One of the most impactful decisions you can make for your facility’s health, not to mention the health of your staff and building occupants, is the disinfectant you select. All too often, I see facilities using expensive disinfectant products with overly aggressive chemistry that not only adds significant cost to the cleaning budget, but also comes with serious health risks. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the selection process for disinfectant products.

The selection of the proper disinfectant relies on the specific virus or bacteria risk, amount of people who regularly enter the facility, the type of facility and the facility’s soil load. All organic matter should be removed before a disinfectant is sprayed, which is why a good quality all-purpose cleaner goes hand in hand with your disinfectant product. Remember: Disinfectants should be used sparingly. They should be thoughtfully and carefully applied to all high contact points. 

Your facility may require different disinfectant products for different types of surfaces, depending on whether your facility handles food or is in a healthcare setting. In those cases, you will have three levels of disinfectants:

  • Low Level Disinfectant: Used on non-critical surfaces. Will come into contact with skin. 
  • Interim Level Disinfectant: Used on non-critical surfaces and some critical surfaces.
  • High Level Disinfectant: Use on critical surfaces, such as emergency rooms, operating rooms, food processing areas. Will come into contact with skin.

Below, I share my top three tips for product choice when it comes to disinfectants.

It’s not about kill claims. Your product choice should not be about the higher number of stated pathogens or kill claims. The more kill claims, the more aggressive the product is. If you have a chemistry that is too aggressive, you can create a threat with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Soil level and type matters more than you think. Any disinfectant, no matter how aggressive, must be applied after the surface has been cleaned and all soil and organic matter has been removed. That is why it is important to consider the type of soil and soil level of your surfaces and find a general purpose cleaner that corresponds to get the most out of your disinfectants. For example, in manufacturing facilities you may have more soil and more grease present on your surfaces. You will need more detergency in your products rather than higher kill claims in your disinfectant here.  However, in a healthcare facility then the kill claims will be higher but your soil level in many areas like the operating room will be lower.

Follow the Five Critical Elements of Disinfectant Security. In addition to being savvy about how to select the proper disinfectant, you will always want to follow the 5 Critical Security Elements of Disinfecting once you have the right product. These include the following steps: 

  1. Use a registered product
  2. Dilute properly
  3. Clean first, then disinfect.
  4. Follow the dwell time.
  5. Use a potable water rinse in certain situations.

Add an outbreak step to your disinfecting process. Any infection control program should have an added step in the case of an outbreak. Adding this step will keep you and your team prepared in case of the worst possible scenario. Make sure that all cleaning personnel are trained on the outbreak step.  

Charlotte products offers disinfectants at every level for every type of facility. Contact an expert at Charlotte to talk about your particular facility needs to find the most appropriate product to make your facility as clean and healthy as possible.