3 Disinfection Mistakes to Avoid
Cross-contamination, or cross-infection, is when illness-causing contaminants or pathogens, like viruses, bacteria and fungi, are unintentionally spread from one surface to another. This is usually the result of unhygienic practices or improper cleaning protocols, which can end up putting the health and safety of the people who enter the space at risk.
While you might not be able to stop germs from entering your business or facility, there are ways to prevent them from becoming widespread and causing illness among your visitors and staff. To help you establish a cleaning and disinfecting protocol that minimizes cross-contamination, here are three common mistakes you should avoid:
- Using the same cloth or mop
Decades of studies have shown that when germs are not destroyed properly, the cloth or cleaning tool can become contaminated and transfer germs from one surface to the next.1,2 That’s why practices like wiping down door handles, countertops and bathroom sinks with the same cloth, or using the same mop in more than one room without sanitizing it between uses, increase the likelihood of germ spreading and should be avoided.
- Not cleaning before disinfecting
Typically, surfaces require cleaning to remove visible soils, stains and organic substances before they can be disinfected. This is because the presence of dirt and debris can create a barrier that prevents your disinfectant from reaching all germs on a surface, decreasing its effectiveness. That’s why cleaning is an important first step in your disinfecting practices. You can learn more about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting by checking out our article, The difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.
- Wiping away disinfectants too soon
To kill the bacteria and viruses you’re targeting, your chosen disinfectant needs to sit on the sprayed surface for the amount of time specified on the disinfectant’s label or safety data sheet before it is dried or wiped away. This is called “dwell time.” If the disinfectant is wiped away before the designated dwell time, you run the risk of not killing all of the germs. And as you wipe, the germs left alive will be transferred to other surfaces.
How touchless disinfection can help
Minimizing cross-contamination in your space doesn’t have to be a painstaking process with multiple steps and tools. Electrostatic sprayers from Victory Innovations® offer a touchless solution for applying disinfectants to surfaces, meaning there is no wiping required after spraying. And because wiping is not required, the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses from surface to surface dramatically decreases.
How it works is pretty simple. Most surfaces have a neutral or negative charge. Because opposites attract, our electrostatic sprayers give disinfectants a positive charge so that they seek out and cling to the surface they’re sprayed upon. The positively charged particles then repel each other like magnets, spreading out evenly and wrapping around the sprayed surface.
Drying of the surface is also touchless. Our patented 3-in-1 nozzle allows you to adjust the micron level, or droplet size, of the spray to ensure that it automatically dries after your chosen disinfectant has rested on the surface for the recommended amount of time. So there is no need to set a timer. Just spray and walk away.
1 Westwood, J. C., Mitchell, M. A., Legacé, S. “Hospital Sanitation: The Massive Bacterial Contamination of the Wet Mop,” Applied Microbiology, 21, no. 4 (1971): 693-7.
2 Exner, M., Vacata, V., Hornei, B., Dietlein, E., Gebel, J. “Household Cleaning and Surface Disinfection: New Insights and Strategies,” Journal of Hospital Infection, 56, Supp. 2 (2004): 70-75.