Article written by Jeff Heyd
Criteria for Choosing a Disinfectant
Do you realize that antimicrobial products are not all the same? How does your go-to disinfectant stack up to the following list of features found in the new generation of EPA registered disinfectants now available to professionals?
- Your choice of disinfectant needs to be effective (i.e.: have strong kill claims) and be appropriate for the types of surfaces and situations you face. To determine if a disinfectant product is in the strongest category, look for one EPA registered as a “Tuberculocide” (indicates Tuberculocidal on the front main label). “Tuberculosis” is a special EPA kill claim rating that is higher than a standard disinfectant rating. In other words: Tuberculocides are stronger than disinfectant products without that special claim and should be the weapon of choice in your disinfecting and sanitizing arsenal since they produce the best results across a range of surfaces and circumstances.
- Not all Tuberculocidals achieve their efficacy the same way; they have a variety of ingredients, with a range of health and safety (and liability) implications. Choose a safe disinfectant by comparing the Hazards Identification section on the Safety Data Sheets of Tuberculocide-rated products…and remember to carefully read the label!
- Some disinfectants have strong or unpleasant scents. Choose one with a light scent or, better yet, one with odor-dissipation technology (a light scent designed to disappear quickly). Only when your disinfectant has no strong scent of its own can you effectively use (and bill for) odor-counteractants or cover scents. Don’t let your disinfectant dictate what your job site is going to smell like, YOU should be in control.
- Surfactants can improve the performance of disinfectants and allow them to do double-duty as cleaners. Few disinfectants have quality surfactant packages in their formulas. Getting your disinfectant to do more work means less work for you. A quality surfactant also means no sticky residue left on surfaces after the product dries. This translates to less time spent rinsing the product and fewer customer complaints.
- Don’t throw away money unnecessarily; the highest cost product isn’t always the best performer. In fact, some of the newer, more effective disinfectants come with lower price tags than traditional ones, so be sure to compare.