5 Disinfection Myths Debunked!

Throughout the past year, cleaning and disinfecting have been key aspects of society due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s important to also distinguish between a fact and a myth, since it can affect people’s health! For 2021, everyone must be knowledgeable in terms of disinfecting methods. Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in the home and the workplace is vital and can reduce the risk of picking up germs and viruses. The following 6 debunked myths clearly explain why it’s important that the cleaning industry during this pandemic needs to spend more time focusing on infection control and disinfectant product selection.

Myth #1: Sanitizing is the same thing as disinfecting.

Interestingly, sanitizing and disinfecting are not the same thing but do go hand in hand. Before disinfecting something, it’s important to sanitize and clean to remove dust and dirt. “Surface dirt can react with the chemicals in disinfecting products and render them unable to kill germs effectively.” It’s important to clean thoroughly before applying any disinfectant!

Myth #2: Products work quickly upon contact with the surface.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true – disinfectant products don’t kill germs instantly. Each disinfectant needs different “contact times” to properly disinfect. Check the label and directions for the virus and pathogen you are trying to get rid of. “You may need to saturate the surface and leave it wet for 4 minutes or longer to actually kill germs.”

Myth #3: If it looks and smells clean, it is probably clean.

This is a common confusing aspect in terms of cleaning. The smell and the look of something can’t be used as an indicator as to how clean something is. For example, the smell of lavender comes from the chemicals or oils in the product in use, not the cleanliness of the surface. The best way to know how clean something is by using the “touch test.”

Myth #4: I can disinfect carpet and upholstery with my EPA-approved products.

This is false. Unfortunately, disinfectants only work on hard and non-porous surfaces, meaning you can sanitize a soft surface but can’t disinfect it! Most likely, in the future, more technology will be created and used to help with this.

Myth #5:  Once the pandemic is over, we can go back to our ‘pre-pandemic’ cleaning program.

As ideal as this sounds, this isn’t true. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it’s vital to find a scalable response plan – all the way to a full-pandemic response plan! It’s necessary to increase the cleaning frequency and be ready and prepared to make sure things are in place. Check out this article to help ensure your workplace and environment is ready to be used post-pandemic.

It’s also important to use products and equipment that are capable of cleaning work facilities well in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

For more information regarding debunking cleaning and disinfecting myths, be sure to check out CMM’s “Infection Control Webinar: Debunking Disinfection Myths” here.