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What is Dwell Time?
The term “dwell time” has been used many times in recent years. It refers to the amount of time sufficient for a disinfectant left visibly wet on a surface to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This term is also referred to as contact time. If dwell time is not considered when disinfecting surfaces, disinfectants might not work effectively.
The Right Dwell Time
Different disinfectants are applied to eliminate a wide range of pathogens. Additionally, the surfaces disinfected vary. First, you should know the kind of pathogens you are dealing with to achieve the best results. Dwell time for different disinfectants range between 30 seconds to 15 minutes. A regular disinfectant used for household cleaning has a potentially lower dwell time than approved commercial disinfectants such as those used against the COVID-19 virus. Dwell times are usually inscribed on the disinfectant label, although you can find similar information on the EPA website.
Is Dwell Time Necessary During Disinfection?
A disinfectant will only work if you observe the correct dwell time indicated on the EPA website’s label. Upon discovery, the EPA always tests the efficacy of disinfectants, and if your goal is to disinfect thoroughly, you have to follow the recommendations. Failure to adhere to this will only see partial disinfection and the continued proliferation of pathogens on your surfaces.
Two-Step Cleaning While Considering Dwell Time
Two-step cleaning is recommended to achieve total disinfection of surfaces.
Step 1: Using a cleaning solution with a microfiber cloth to remove unwanted particles from the surface. This step is crucial because it helps remove potential microbial herbage areas.
Step2: While adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, safety, and dwell time, apply the disinfecting solution to the surface. Always remember to check the label for all these instructions. After waiting for the stated dwell time, remove the solution with a wet/dry vacuum microfiber. Following this step and carefully observing the instructions helps you kill all the pathogens.
Dwell Time Risks
Always remember that the disinfectant has to be left visibly wet on a surface. Most disinfectants have an average dwell time of 10 minutes, though it might cause various risks. Keeping a hard, non-porous surface moist for an extended period can be problematic. In standard heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) setting, water evaporates between six and eight minutes. This implies that keeping a surface moist for ten minutes or more per the EPA guidelines of disinfection could require a higher amount of disinfecting solution.
Dwell Time and COVID-19
The recent outbreaks of COVID-19 have made it essential to clean, disinfect, and maintain high hygiene standards. However, dwell time is a crucial factor when dealing with this.
A disinfectant with an immediate contact time is the best in fighting COVID-19, whether through a spray or a wipe. In every establishment, you should equip employees with this knowledge to know how to achieve total disinfection of surfaces.
Which Disinfectants Should You Use?
Finding an appropriate disinfectant can be challenging since different disinfectants kill varying pathogens with conflicting levels of efficacy. However, knowledge of dwell time may help you make an informed decision. It’s worth noting that the shorter the dwell time, the more effective a disinfectant is. Moreover, other disinfectants must be diluted with water first and work very well in fighting pathogens. However, it’s important to note that shelf life shortens after dilution. When purchasing a disinfectant, it’s also crucial to consider the expiry date. It’s a waste of time and money to buy cleaning products close to their expiration date.
Hiring a disinfecting company may come in handy, especially if you’d like to disinfect larger spaces or want your disinfection done professionally. Here at Safe Spray, we stand out as a reputable company with modern and effective techniques. Reach out to us at (855) 777-2987 to speak to an expert and secure your quote today.
We also offer a no obligation, free onsite service estimate.