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Home Care

Check for These Active Ingredients in Disinfectants to Help Keep Your Home Safe from Dangerous Viruses

Make sure to apply proper dwell time to your disinfectant of choice!

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Photography: PIXABAY/tookapic

Cleaning is different from disinfecting. When you clean your home, you sweep, wipe, or wash out dirt you can see, but when you’re disinfecting, you’re making sure that bacteria, germs, viruses, and other things that may cause illness are dealt with.

But for these disinfectants to work, you’ll have to use them right. According to Apartment Therapy, there’s one important step that you’re probably forgetting when disinfecting your surfaces—dwell time. “To be effective, disinfecting solutions need to remain in contact with the surface for a specified length of time which varies by product, before being allowed to air-dry.”

Common disinfectants have a dwell time of 10 minutes, but others only need three to four minutes to take effect. This is why it’s important to follow instructions found on the label or packaging—you’ll get optimum disinfection when you do.

To help you out, here are some active ingredients found in products that have passed the criteria of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use against coronaviruses, specifically SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of COVID-19. You may want to take note of these when buying disinfectants:

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  • Quaternary ammonium
  • Hydrogen Peroxide + Peroxyacetic acid
  • Quaternary ammonium + Isopropanol
  • Sodium hypochlorite
  • Octanoic acid
  • Sodium hypochlorite + Isopropanol
  • Phenolic
  • Sodium hypochlorite + sodium carbonate
  • Quatenary ammonium + ethanol
  • Triethylene glycol + quaternary ammonium
  • Peroxyacetic acid
  • Sodium hypochlorite
  • Glycolic acid
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In case you want to check for the exact products and dwell times that have these, click here. Note that not all are available locally, but you can at least get an idea on what you can look for in online stores or your nearest store.

Please make sure to always follow the instructions found on the labels of disinfectants properly. Use gloves to protect your hands and a mask to avoid prolonged inhalation. Do not ingest, and make sure that products that contain the chemicals stated above are always beyond the reach of children and pets. 

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