There is no denying the fact that Covid-19 is present and staying. The pandemic has been around for quite a while now and is not showing any signs of slowing down. People have resorted to different ways of protecting themselves and their loved ones from the virus. Because of this, the need to purchase antibacterial and antimicrobial products that include alcohol, hand sanitizers, cleansers, and disinfectant liquid or wipes, skyrocketed.
Health products are abundant in the market, and they are readily available for consumers, each offering different kinds and levels of protection. But what does the public need to know about these products? Are they effective and safe to use? How do we use them?
ARE CLEANING, SANITIZING, AND DISINFECTING THE SAME?
If you are serious about keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, it is imperative that you regularly clean, sanitize, and disinfect your home, your workspace, or any place that you frequent, such as your car. It is wise to use products that will make it easier for you to create a safe and healthy environment. But be aware that there is a difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. It is crucial to learn when to apply each method and how effective it is in killing germs.
For example, you might think that cleaning your countertops with soap and water would suffice in clearing out the germs and viruses that may have remained on the surface. But keep in mind that it is also necessary to disinfect to keep certain viruses at bay, such as the COVID-19 virus. Take note that the products that you need to use should be approved by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Keep in mind the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
This method usually involves soap or detergent and water. It removes dirt and impurities on the surface, but it doesn’t kill germs.
This decreases the number of germs on surfaces, but it doesn’t kill all. It does lower the number to the acceptable level within the recommended public health standards.
This method kills germs on objects and surfaces and usually requires using chemicals such as disinfectant wipes or any disinfectant liquid.
What we can learn from this is that while cleaning is always a good method, it only removes germs and does not kill them. Meanwhile, sanitizing is not as strong as disinfecting, although there are products that offer both.
WHEN TO SANITIZE AND DISINFECT
Now that we know that there is a difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, we need to learn when to do it. It is imperative to do these things the right way because they can have harmful effects when ingested, inhaled, or when it comes in contact with skin.
Disinfect surfaces in your household that get a lot of traffic. Examples of these are doorknobs, sinks, faucets, toilet handles, and light switches. Even your remote control can be a breeding ground for germs, so it is best to use disinfectant wipes to clean it. Doing this would ensure that the chemicals applied to it would not be as strong and as harmful.
As CDC recommends, it is best to handwash whenever you can, but never use disinfectant wipes on your hands. Since these disinfectants are strong enough to kill even the good bacteria on your skin, it may have an adverse effect when it comes in contact with your skin. Rashes and allergies are only a few of these effects.
Hand Wash as much as possible, but if soap and water are not readily available, you can always opt to use hand sanitizer gels or alcohol hand sanitizers. Keep in mind that these sanitizers should contain at least 60% of alcohol, anything less would not be effective in killing germs or reducing their amount on your hands.
We are fortunate enough during these times when antibacterial and antimicrobial products are easily accessible. Products such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are also convenient. We can bring them anywhere and use them as necessary. Let’s take advantage of this and take our responsibility seriously in keeping ourselves and others protected from the COVID-19 virus.