The cleaning products in your Canadian household use different verbiage on their labels, from antibacterial to sanitizer to disinfectant. But what do they do?
Most household products, from all-purpose cleaners to dish soap, contain chemical compounds called surfactants, which bond to oil, germs, and dirt particles so they can be removed and cleaned.
Disinfectants are powerful pathogen-killing agents who cannot do their jobs efficiently if used on dirty surfaces. The dirt and oil will protect the germs by absorbing the disinfectant. That’s why it’s essential to clean a heavily soiled area before disinfecting it. Bacoban is unique as it is both a cleaner and a disinfectant.
You’ve probably been reminded by visual messaging in your city to wash your hands to reduce the spread of Covid-19. You’ll notice that they recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. The reason is that for soap to be effective; it has to be rubbed and lathered. In contrast, for quicker and more efficient results, household disinfectants, such as Bacoban, are used on hard surfaces.
Here’s a breakdown of the different active ingredients in household cleaners and what to look for when choosing an effective disinfectant.
The best disinfectants against viruses
• Isopropanol or Ethanol (Alcohol) are effective when used in high concentration. It’s widespread for cleaning products that contain alcohol to have at least a 70% solution, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers should contain a minimum of 60% alcohol to be effective. They become less effective very quickly due to evaporation. (Can also deteriorate electronics and damage surfaces)
• Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or “quats ”for short, are widely used as surface disinfectants and are found in many household cleaners, including disinfectant wipes and sprays. Research has shown quaternary ammonium compounds to effectively kill 99.99% of all viruses, bacteria, and fungi. (Bacoban is a “Quat”)
• Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach). The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which can also kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Bleach is used on frequently touched surfaces, but it must air dry for at least 10 minutes before wiping to kill pathogens effectively. (Wear protective equipment while applying; it can easily irritate your skin)
• Hydrogen Peroxide is not as strong as bleach but does have disinfectant properties that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Take caution when using hydrogen peroxide on hard surfaces like your countertops, mostly if they are made of marble or granite. The acidic components can potentially break down the finish.