Effective Disinfection and Dwell Time: What You Need to Know

Effective disinfection

Over a year into the COVID-19 scenario, safety protocols against the virus have either seen stricter implementations or loosen up along the way. But, this doesn’t mean that people should ease up on dealing with the virus. The truth of the matter is, the whole world is still knee-deep into the terrors of the pandemic. And this concern calls for a serious re-evaluation of something as simple as how you clean handrails and linoleum floors.

Since there has been no significant update on how to beat the virus once and for all, households and establishments are encouraged to look into their cleaning habits and routines and perform an assessment to determine whether these routines meet the standards imposed by the regulating bodies. With the number of cases continuing to rise, making sure that effective disinfection takes place is imperative.

Dwell time and its role in effective disinfection

So, how can you make sure that effective disinfection takes place? Here are some important concepts to understand.

Effective disinfection can only be considered effective depending on the dwell time. Dwell time or contact time refers to the length of time required for disinfectants to remain wet on the surfaces to ensure proper disinfection. The dwell time varies per disinfectant and organism type. Most disinfectants can instantly kill bacteria, but allotting a short period for the disinfectants to work on the surface provides a better success rate. In general, the dwell time or contact time disinfection can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. You may check the labels of your disinfectant to identify the recommended dwell time.

When coupled with proper sanitation routines and methods, dwell time can ensure effective disinfection.

Effectively disinfecting your office

How to ensure that your office space is effectively disinfected

Here are a few tips to keep your office space properly disinfected and sanitized.

  • Go for deep cleaning approaches.

For office spaces and public establishments, deep cleaning is one of the best ways to keep your space effectively disinfected. Fogging disinfection is a deep cleaning method where a fine mist of a special solution is dispensed from a spray gun. The fine mist kills off bacteria and other pathogens present in the air and on various surfaces. Fogging disinfection is especially convenient for large areas like the office because the cleaning period is significantly reduced. Furthermore, the cleaning solution is safe for office equipment like computer units, laptops, and printers since the mist ejected from the spray gun are extra fine.

  • Increase the frequency of the cleaning schedule.

Aside from opting for deep cleaning options from time to time, offices and establishments are also encouraged to double the frequency of their regular professional cleaning and disinfection routine. Ensure that the ventilation system is not overlooked, as these areas tend to gather a lot of dust and dirt and affect the indoor air quality.

  • Promote proper personal hygiene habits.

A simple act goes a long way. In fact, the CDC has advocated for washing hands and observing personal hygiene in the face of COVID-19 as one preventive measure.

  • Inform employees about disinfection measures.

Employees and other people who frequent the space must know when it comes to the proper protocols against COVID-19. In this way, they can participate and cooperate with the company when it comes to safety measures.

  • Make sure that there are enough cleaning and disinfection supplies.

Always ensure that the supply cabinet is fully replenished with soap, alcohol, bleach, and industry-approved disinfectants. Running out of these items is not an option.

  • Follow the dwell time instructions.

Since each cleaning product and disinfectant has a corresponding dwell time, checking the product’s label for instructions on dwell time ensures a successful contact time disinfection. Following the dwell time, instructions are critical since failure to do so will negate the aforementioned steps and not turn into effective disinfection.

Dwell time and effective disinfection

Quick question: which disinfectants ensure effective disinfection in the office?

Any kind of disinfectant would be good for use in the office. However, you might want to consider options that are suited for the equipment in the office as there are options that won’t damage these devices.

The effectiveness of these disinfectants in sanitizing any space lies in the required dwell time. The claims of these disinfectants to kill viruses would not matter without the proper dwell time to work on surfaces. 

Furthermore, you could pick a disinfectant that offers a shorter dwell time. These are better options since they can quickly work on the virus given the brief period.

What makes dwell times so important?

Dwell times ensure that the virus does not have the capability to spread anymore. Since the coronavirus is a highly mutable, highly contagious virus, dwell time is very important in stopping the spread of this particular virus. In fact, something as seemingly simple as dwell time can significantly reduce the number of affected COVID-19 cases. Dwell times are instrumental in COVID-19 prevention.

What else you can do to ensure an effective disinfection

If you haven’t utilized the services of a professional cleaning company, then it’s about time. These professionals can effectively deal with the cleaning that your office space, building, or establishment requires. They also have the knowledge and equipment to provide the best kind of cleaning suitable to your needs. 

Furthermore, read and research. Please tune in to the news and other relevant websites for updates when it comes to dealing with coronavirus. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests various disinfectants to determine the proper dwell time for each. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website also provides important information and updates about the virus and how you can continue to protect yourself and your space from acquiring the virus.

Lastly, do not underestimate the power of instructions. Stick to what is prescribed by the experts. There is no need to put yourself in a position of unnecessary risk from failing to follow the instructions in these risky times.