PROPER DISINFECTING PROCEDURES & DWELL TIMES
For proper disinfecting procedures, one must know the disinfecting chemical in which they are working with, to familiarize yourself with the chemical you must read the SDS or the label on the container. There are many disinfectants on the market and in order to properly disinfected you must read the label to identify dwell time (kill time). You must allow product to remain wet in surfaces for the minimum time determine on the manufacture label. In a commercial setting this dwell time should be determined by your supervisor.
Dwell times matter because as a cleaning professional, heathy environments is a top priority. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines dwell time as, “the amount of time that a disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product’s advertised kill rate.” Different disinfectants target a wide array of different pathogens. The surfaces these pathogens inhabit also vary greatly. For best results, professional cleaners must know the target pathogens and the corresponding dwell times. Some disinfectants may have dwell time of only one minute, while others may require up to 10 minute or more to achieve the desired pathogenic control.
Top-to-bottom and cleanest-to-dirties are the most effective disinfecting practices. But it must be combined with proper dwell times in order to achieve maximum efficacy. You can begin by cleaning and removing all unwanted soils from surfaces, then apply a disinfectant solution to the same areas to allow for proper dwell times. Then begin top to bottom, dry to wet cleaning. While other tasks are being performed such as high dusting, removing trash and removing unwanted and visible soils, the disinfectants can achieve their desired dwell times without slowing the cleaner down.
The most preferred cleaning and disinfecting technique is a three step process;
1. Wipe down surfaces to remove soil
2. Apply disinfectant using proper dwell times
3. Rinse surface to remove disinfectant residue
Following these cleaning/disinfecting practices and carefully adhering to the disinfectant label recommended dwell times will help to ensure that you are killing, capturing, and containing disease-causing pathogens and preventing the spread of infectious disease.