How to make sure you are disinfecting and sanitizing properly

Lysol wipes — cool for wiping down desks when you’re sick, potentially protective against the novel coronavirus. (Shutterstock)

When it comes to sanitizing—you may have been doing it all wrong. Just like washing your hands, cleaning the surfaces of your home or office requires the right equipment and time.

For most products, in order to kill the virus, you can’t just spray it on and immediately wipe it away.
According to the EPA—Clorox bleach or something similar needs to sit for about 5 minutes.

For disinfectant wipes, it can take anywhere from 4-10 minutes.

So if stores are quickly wiping down things like carts—is that doing the trick?

Each product has its directions as to what would increase the best effectiveness of the product—some products do require that you wipe the surface and leave it wet until it dries so as long as you’re following the product directions we will be safer,” said Loureen Downes, FGCU Nurse Practitioner Program Director.

As Downes mentioned—every solution is different so it’s so important to read the label.

You can see these Great Value disinfectant wipes call for a 10 minute contact time to kill the virus.

The contact time is how long the product needs to sit wet to be effective. However — look at the label for Lysol wipes — those call for just 4 minutes.

That shows just how much it varies from product to product.

Most stores have adjusted their hours to give employees time to deep clean after they close. But with people in and out of stores all day — it’s just not practical for them to let cleaning solutions soak that long when they’re open.

To protect yourself — Professor Downes says the best thing you can do is use hand sanitizer as soon as you leave the store and wash your hands when you get home.

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