May 29, 2019
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Avoid these seven pitfalls that will deactivate your disinfectant

Disinfecting is a critical step in your cleaning routine. It keeps everyone who moves through your facility healthy and safe. Disinfecting, when done correctly, kills unseen bacteria, germs, and odors and helps prevent the spread of disease. But it's possible that you may be inadvertently lessening the efficacy of these germ-fighting products.

Here are seven things to keep in mind to make sure your disinfectant is working exactly as it should:

1. Dirt

Always use an all-purpose cleaner to remove any visible dirt from a surface before disinfecting.

2. Dilution

If you are using a concentrated liquid disinfectant, ensure that you are diluting the solution at the proper ratio, as recommended on the label.

3. Contamination

Avoid microbial contamination of your disinfectant by performing dilution on a clean surface or using a contained Dilution Solution.

Read More: Learn how to use the Maintex Dilution Solution in the Cleaning Academy

4. Temperature

Do not use boiling hot water with a disinfectant, as this will lessen its effectiveness. Warm or hot tap water is fine to use and will not impact efficacy.

5. Time

Check the dwell time for each disinfectant you are using to ensure that the surface remains wet. Most EPA-registered hospital disinfectants have a label contact time of 10 minutes, though some work more quickly.

6. Surface

Most disinfectants are designed to work best on hard, non-porous surfaces such as metal, plastic, and ceramic. If you need to disinfect a porous surface, make sure you select a multi-surface formulation, like Purell™ Professional Surface Disinfectant.

Read More: Four key questions to ask yourself before buying a disinfectant

7. Soap

Never combine a quat-based disinfectant with soap. This is one of the easiest ways to deactivate your disinfectant.

The Clean Up

There are many ways you might inadvertently deactivate a disinfectant. Be sure to always dilute properly and avoid dirt and contaminants that may lessen the effectiveness of your disinfecting process. Questions? Ask your Maintex representative for more disinfectant resources.


Maintex is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality janitorial supplies, cleaning chemicals, tools, and equipment in Southern California. We stock thousands of facilities items and offer a full range of cleaning programs, comprehensive training, and customized solutions.

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