When selecting a cleaning or disinfectant product for your business, there are many factors to consider. The primary factor, of course, is that you need a product you can trust to effectively combat illness-causing germs without exposing your employees and patrons to harsh chemicals and harmful fumes. However, many of the standard products available on store shelves contain ingredients directly linked to adverse health effects.
In fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that prolonged exposure to conventional cleaning and disinfectant products can be as dangerous as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing a disinfectant for your business and why selecting an EPA-registered disinfectant like Vital Oxide is crucial.
The Difference Between Cleaning Products, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants
Before selecting a cleaning or disinfectant product for use at your establishment, it’s essential to understand the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. In short, surface disinfectants are subject to more rigorous testing requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and must clear a higher bar for effectiveness than surface sanitizing products. There are no cleaner-only or sanitizer-only products with approved virus claims.
Cleaning involves physically removing dirt, germs, and other impurities from surfaces and leaves things looking shiny and clean. Soap and water, or a cleaning solution, might be used in this process. However, general cleaning products, such as soap and water, conventional all-purpose cleaners, ammonia-based cleaners, etc., are not designed to eliminate pathogens that can cause an illness.
The EPA does not regulate cleaning products unless they also claim to sanitize or disinfect. There are no criteria that cleaning products have to meet when it comes to efficacy. The cleaning process does not necessarily kill germs, but it does help to lower their numbers and the risk of contamination or spreading infection. Cleaning is the first step to a complete process of preventing illness.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces to a level deemed safe by public health standards or requirements. This process works by cleaning and then treating surfaces with a sanitizing solution and/or physical removal (for example, by the use of commercial dishwashing machines) to lower the risk of contamination or spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills more germs than sanitizing. Disinfecting works by using chemicals, heat, or other processes to kill germs on surfaces or objects. The method of disinfection does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs and usually requires a pre-cleaning step to remove gross dirt build-up before disinfection to allow complete contact with the disinfectant.
The term “disinfectant” is regulated by the EPA. To be registered as a disinfectant, the product must undergo significant antimicrobial testing and meet rigorous germ-killing standards. The EPA registers three types of disinfectants based on their germ-killing efficacy: Limited Disinfectants, General (or Broad-spectrum) Disinfectants, and Hospital Disinfectants.
- Limited Disinfectants are effective against only a specific major group of microorganisms (such as gram-positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, or gram-negative bacteria like Salmonella enterica).
- General or Broad-spectrum Disinfectants are effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica).
- Hospital Disinfectants are Broad-spectrum Disinfectants that are also effective against the nosocomial bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Not All Disinfectants Are Created Equal
As a business owner, you know that using the right disinfectant product routinely on surfaces throughout your facility is critical in helping prevent the spread of illness and diseases like COVID-19, influenza (flu), norovirus, and cold viruses. However, not all disinfectants are created equal. Consider carefully what kinds of chemicals you want around your employees, staff, friends, and family members. Most standard disinfectants are highly toxic and leave behind noxious fumes and harmful byproducts. However, with Vital Oxide, you can feel confident that you are using a versatile EPA-registered Hospital Disinfectant that is free from harsh chemicals, harmful fumes, and alarming safety warnings while still effectively eliminating pathogens in your workspace and home.
Vital Oxide is on the EPA’s List N (the list of products approved for use against SARS-CoV-2) and is also now tested and proven effective in killing SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces, with a contact time of just five minutes.
Related: Are Disinfectants Effective Against the Omicron Variant? Here’s What You Need to Know
At Vital Oxide, we’re proud to offer a revolutionary product that’s powerful enough to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria without harsh chemicals or alarming safety ratings. If you have any questions, please Contact Us or Send Us a Message on Facebook. We're all in this together, and we’re here to help.