Are disinfectant wipes really effective for Houston office cleaning? The answer may be a little more complicated than you think. Before you reach for a wipe for your desk, make sure you’re actually killing germs. Also, make sure your office receives regular disinfection from a professional crew for the best results.
How do Disinfectant Wipes Work?
Most of us think of disinfectant wipes as a quick and simple way to disinfect office surfaces like desks, computers, and door handles. However, it’s important to understand how disinfectants work to properly kill germs in your workplace.
The EPA regulates disinfectants and they must undergo some pretty heavy testing requirements. Legally, disinfectants must be tested by the EPA to show that they are safe and effective at killing germs, including viruses and bacteria.
When the EPA tests new disinfectants, they let a surface contaminated with certain germs sit in the disinfectant solution for a certain period of time. Then, they look at the number of dead germs compared to live germs to see how many the disinfectant killed.
The key here is that disinfectants are tested under certain criteria. Now, you may not regularly read the fine print on your container of the disinfectant wipes you use for Houston office cleaning, but these products do come with very specific instructions for real disinfection.
Most experts agree that disinfectant wipes are effective, if you follow the directions. So, a quick swipe across your desk or keyboard for Houston office cleaning likely won’t do the trick of killing most of the germs. However, they may help with cleaning the surface, which removes dirt, grime, and some of the germs.
Using Disinfectant Wipes Properly for Houston Office Cleaning
How do you use disinfectant wipes properly to kill germs in your office? For specifics, it’s important to read all the directions on any disinfectant you use. It’s especially important to distinguish between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting directions.
Generally, there are a few key things you’ll need to keep in mind to actually disinfect your desk and office items.
Contact time for disinfecting desks and other office surfaces
Contact time is one of the most important parts of using disinfectants for Houston office cleaning. This is essentially how long the chemicals have to sit on the surface to kill germs. Most people when using disinfectant wipes simply give the surface a quick wipe and get back to business. However, most disinfectants, including disinfectant wipes, must sit on the surface for several minutes to actually disinfect.
For disinfection, the surface has to stay visibly wet for the entire listed contact time. When you contract Houston office cleaning services for workplace disinfection, it’s important to keep this in mind, as it affects how much time we need to properly disinfect your office.
If you’re planning to use disinfectant wipes between cleaning services, make sure you consider contact time. Contact time can even be different not only between brands of disinfectant wipes, but even between different scents of the same brand. So, you may want to make a habit of reading the directions every time.
You may need multiple wipes for Houston office cleaning
Also, you may need to use multiple wipes for each surface you plan to disinfect. One reason is to make sure the surface stays wet during the entire directed contact time. Wipes can dry out pretty quickly, often before the contact time is up.
In addition, it’s also vital to remember that disinfectant wipes are only effective for one use. Most wipes are usually only good for disinfecting about three square feet or less before you need another wipe.
Studies show that, while effective at killing germs, disinfectant wipes also pick up and hold onto germs after wiping a surface. This means that wiping down your desk, computer, keyboard, office door handle, and everything else with the same wipe could actually spread germs from one surface to another. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of what you want to do when Houston office cleaning.
Using soap and water before disinfectant wipes
If you have a layer of dust or crumbs on your desk, it’s probably tempting to just grab a disinfectant wipe for convenience. However, in many cases you’ll need to pre-clean with soap and water before using disinfectants. Grime can actually make it hard for the disinfectant to attack and kill germs. Therefore, disinfecting your office may need a few more extra steps than most people realize.
You need to rinse some surfaces after using a disinfectant wipe
If you eat at your desk, we have another step that you’ll need to take. After using disinfectant wipes on surfaces that might come into contact with food, you’re supposed to rinse the surface with water and a clean cloth. This goes for kitchen and breakroom areas in your office, your desk if you’re notorious for chowing down at your desk, and even the conference room table if you’re planning to bring in snacks for your next meeting. Disinfectant chemicals are great for killing germs, but they’re not meant to be ingested. So, remove any residue before adding food to the equation.
*Houston Office Cleaning Tip: Don’t forget to wash your hands after using disinfectant wipes! They can cause skin and eye irritation, so most products recommend using gloves or washing your hands after use.
Store Disinfectant Wipes at Room Temperature
Do you have someone who constantly “borrows” your disinfectant wipes at work? You might be tempted to leave them in your car to stop the thievery, but you’re probably better off locking them in a drawer.
Disinfectant wipes must be stored at room temperature. This is because they have preservatives to help prevent mold. If they’re stored in an environment that’s too hot or too cold, you could kill the preservatives, allowing fungal growth on the wipes themselves, which you could then inadvertently transfer to your work surfaces.
Also, most disinfectant wipes have a shelf life of two years. Afterwards, they may become less effective at killing germs. So, before you buy a lifetime’s supply of disinfectant wipes for the office, keep this shelf life in mind.
Houston Office Cleaning Services for a Germ-Free Workplace
For expert Houston building cleaning, choose our team at Accredited Building Services. We’ve been helping keep workplaces clean and germ-free since 1980 and offer cost-effective solutions for your business. Our team receives extensive specialized training to ensure you receive a quality clean every single time. We also pride ourselves on open communication so you’re always up-to-date on how we’re helping you maintain a clean, safe, and healthy workplace. Call us today at (281) 578-2296 to learn more and request a quote for your business.