Not All Disinfection Treatments Are As Effective As You Think

Safety Data Sheets, what are they? A Safety Data Sheet or SDS is a standardized document containing important safety instructions on the storage, handling, and use of certain chemicals. Click here for a more detailed explanation. Since Coronavirus was mentioned during the first newscast back at the beginning of the year, cleaning products and disinfectants have been in high demand. Many of our favorite brands are frequently sold out or on backorder. So alternatives are being used or sent in their place and it is imperative that people understand how to use these chemicals properly. One way is to familiarize yourself with the SDS and the instructions included with the product.

Many of us are so worried and stressed out about cleaning any and everything that we come into contact with we rush to spray it all down and wipe it clean. Unfortunately, that may not always be the correct way to use a particular product or chemical. Some companies are offering wide area spraying or fogging treatments, for example, and the CDC and EPA has explained that these treatments are not effective against COVID-19. Different chemicals are intended to fight specific types of germs, viruses, mold, and mildew via different methods or applications. Spraying and wiping may be fine for cleaning smudges from your glass however it may not be sufficient for cleaning your bathroom faucet.

Here are a few facts you should keep in mind:

Household Bleach

First and most importantly bleach can NEVER be mixed with ammonia because it produces chlorine gas which can be fatal. Most people are not aware but bleach expires just one year from the date it was manufactured. This doesn’t mean you have to throw it away. It just means it can’t be used to disinfect and protect against viruses and bacteria. You can still use your bleach to whiten your laundry.

There is also no need to use straight bleach when you do use it as a disinfectant. You can dilute it with water and use it as a spray. Click Here for an in-depth explanation done by the University of Michigan and the proper ratio of water to bleach. Finally, do not just spray and wipe, bleach needs to be in contact with the hard surface you are disinfecting for at least five (5) minutes to kill all pathogens.


The fogging method is being used by many companies right now. And while it probably seems like a great idea, in theory, it actually doesn’t kill viruses and is not recommended by the CDC.

Spray and Wipe Method

The spray and wipe method is a fine way to clean however most cleaning and disinfecting agents must remain on surfaces for a specific period of time to work effectively. As mentioned above bleach requires a minimum of five (5) minutes to be effective. Hydrogen Peroxide requires at least sixty (60) seconds to kill any pathogens.


Many people are making homemade products based on vinegar. Vinegar is an amazing cleaning product and has many uses, such as removing soap scum, fighting bad odors, and even freshening your laundry. But it is important to know that vinegar is NOT a disinfectant, it is a cleaner. 

Additionally to reduce bacteria vinegar must remain on a surface for a minimum of thirty (30) minutes. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

Earrings, toothbrushes, and other small items are frequently disinfected with rubbing alcohol. Most household rubbing alcohol is at least 70% concentration which is the minimum concentration recommended. Isopropyl alcohol is a quick and effective way to kill viruses and bacteria but only on smaller items and very small spaces. While It takes just thirty (30) seconds to kill pathogens it also evaporates just as quick. So, it is not recommended to clean your whole house or even large areas with rubbing alcohol because it may dry before it’s had enough time to kill the viruses.

For additional information on the importance of following the SDS and manufacturers’ directions for application and usage, you can click this link and see what the CDC recommends. 

Good news, Fresh Foam offers an EPA approved disinfectant treatment for use in the fight against COVID-19. It is an effective way to clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces to help protect against COVID and other viruses. There are no worries about dangerous fumes or odors, and it leaves a fresh clean scent behind. Take a look at our COVID Disinfectant Treatment Service by clicking here

The bottom line is, no matter what product you choose to defend and protect you and your residents from Coronavirus and other viruses, it is imperative you adhere to the directions. Read all labels carefully, the directions for application, how to store the products, and the warnings. Do not mix products and always be sure to store them correctly.