Do You Know What Other Companies Are Spraying? You Should…, Get the Facts
November 19, 2020
With COVID cases still on the rise as the year comes to an end, it's no surprise to see so many households and businesses seeking out disinfection services to either combat the outbreak or to take preventative measures. The pandemic has made germ-control a top priority as the surface disinfectant industry soars to fulfill that need, and having said that, it begs the question: what exactly are these sanitizing and disinfecting companies spraying to kill germs, viruses, and bacteria?
To start, sanitizing and disinfecting are two very different things. Sanitizing only reduces germs on surfaces to safer levels, while disinfecting actually kills or deactivates the microbes. For companies to significantly reduce or even remove the risks from pathogens on a surface, they would need to use disinfecting solutions. The question is, do those solutions contain nasty chemicals or favorable ones?
Well, a lot of these newer sanitizing and disinfecting companies and even some big players out there are using generic disinfectants to eradicate germs. The problem is, first and foremost, what's in the solutions they're using and also, what are they using to apply these solutions? But we'll leave that second topic for another blog. Could they be using solutions that are ineffective or even worse, could they cause irritations and even bodily harm? Many companies or homeowners are hiring disinfection companies without asking what's in the solutions to be applied or even if they're specifically effective for the microorganisms living in their environment.
So, wouldn't you want to know before hiring a company what solutions they use and how they apply them? We would, and so this blog will outline many of the disinfecting solutions out there, and then we'll compare them to what Germinator uses so you as the consumer are better informed with the correct knowledge to make better, informed decisions before hiring your sanitizing and disinfection company.
Solutions Represent the Brand
When a company chooses its disinfectant(s) of choice, that disinfectant now represents that entire company. The most frequently applied disinfectant(s) that companies are using are diluted phenolic solutions, hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds, alcohol-based solutions, and chlorine-based solutions.
These disinfectants may get the job done when it comes to killing germs, viruses, and bacteria, but it is critical to know what the side effects are once a company leaves your home or business. Everyone wants a more protected and hygienic space, but do you want a potential trip to the doctor to come with it too? Probably not, so we'll start with the first solution, diluted phenolic solutions, and move on down the list till we get to our solution of choice for your disinfecting needs.
Diluted Phenolic Solutions:
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
, all phenolic solutions, whether diluted or not, can cause irritation or other acute toxic effects. Diluted phenolic solutions at one or two percent can cause burns if left on the skin long enough.
So, imagine entering a home where they may have sprayed too much, and you touch a surface, not knowing you're at risk of getting burned. Phenolic compounds are not safe for animals or humans either, so the technicians spraying these types of solutions wear PPE (personal protective equipment) from head to toe and shield their eyes to avoid systemic toxicity (toxic substances entering the body). These types of solutions may get the job done, and they're very powerful, but is it worth the risk?
This solution is widely used within the healthcare or dental setting and among sanitizing and disinfecting companies, but it does have its risks. The household version only contains three percent of it, so it's safe to wash your mouth out with limited exposure risks. When used as a disinfectant, it can become explosive when high concentrations of it come in contact with certain metals or solutions, which you can read the exhaustive list here by the National Library of Medicine
It's an effective disinfectant (on clean surfaces only) that literally penetrates and destroys germs but also comes with health risks. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your eyes and skin, affect your respiratory system, cause burns, and is harmful to aquatic life.
When diluted with water, they're an effective sanitizer, and at higher concentrations, they can kill a wide range of microorganisms but not bacterial spores. A company using alcohol-based disinfectants may put patients at a medical facility at risk if certain medical instruments have spores on them, causing an infection. When companies use alcohol-based solutions, they run the risk of irritating their skin if they're not wearing enough PPE, and these types of solutions can be flammable at higher concentrations.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds:
Also known as "quats," these solutions used by companies are very cost-effective and efficient at killing all sorts of harmful microorganisms. They're slightly less toxic than phenolics or bleach and can cause skin and respiratory irritation when mishandled properly. At higher concentrations, the risks can scale larger.
However, they're an excellent disinfectant to use, and our "Shield" formula is one of the most stable varieties on the market today. However, quats can be ineffective when sprayed on a dirty surface because dirt, grime, and even soap scum can interfere with its disinfection process. So it's crucial that clients or cleaning staff clean before service.
Chlorine-Based Compounds (AKA "Bleach" in Its Diluted Form):
You may not know this, but there are five types of chlorine, and the one that we all recognize is calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite. You may not know these names right off the bat, but when it is diluted, it's commonly referred to as "bleach." We all know its benefits as we use it to make clothes lighter, hair blonder, and even to disinfect surfaces or swimming pools.
Many companies are using some form of chlorine-based solutions such as sodium hypochlorite, for example, as a broad-spectrum disinfectant against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other harmful pathogens. However, these solutions can cause skin irritation, eye damage, and harm aquatic life. If it comes in contact with cleaners containing ammonia or other chlorine compounds, it can cause a fatal gas reaction.
All of these solutions and their varieties mentioned are on the EPA's N List of disinfectants, but some companies out there may be using solutions that may not have been reviewed by the EPA. It's important for consumers who want to protect their home or business to do the necessary research and get educated. It's crucial for you to understand what these companies are spraying and how.
It would be a shame to put others at risk because the price was right, but the solutions they were using were not approved by the EPA, or you didn't get the results you wanted. That's why we're here to help you know the difference between our competitors and how our solutions and services really make an impact for you and everyone else to enjoy.
Know The Difference
Before you pick up the phone and hire some random company for your disinfecting needs, we'd like to explain to you our unique approach to sanitizing and disinfecting and our solutions of choice that weren't mentioned prior. It's related to the chlorine family, but it's vastly different from household bleach because we would never put you or your surfaces or objects in harm's way.
We understand how important it is for you to get the hygienic results you need for your home or business, so we've developed a patent-pending methodology that provides a new generation of enhanced microbial protection. When we go into your home or business, we will test your surfaces for ATP before and after service to determine its level of cleanliness and validate our results with real data.
We use two solutions in our process, one to disinfect and then another to protect, and then we retest afterward to show you how effective our solutions truly were.
The first solution we use is called "Genesis." It is a one-step cleaner and broad-spectrum sanitizer and disinfectant treatment that harnesses the power of HOCl (hypochlorous acid) solution.
It is derived from naturally occurring minerals, and our Genesis HOCl solution doesn't contain any harsh chemicals or fumes. Genesis not only eliminates odors at their source but kills a wide range of bacteria and viruses. It meets the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC) germicidal spray standards for Hospital Grade Disinfection and is on the EPA's N List of products determined to meet the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This is the first application of our process, and it only gets better and far more effective with this final finishing touch.
The next application after Genesis is the Shield. The Shield is a water-based quaternary ammonium compound that imparts a durable bacteriostatic finish to a wide range of non-food contact surfaces. It is EPA-registered to be effective against mold, mildew, algae and odor-causing bacteria. This application creates an invisible barrier that combats deterioration and discoloration and promotes freshness for up to three months.
These are the methods and solutions we stand by as a company. Since 2015, we have been 100% focused on just sanitizing and disinfection services. We have conducted extensive studies based on experiments with other methods like ozone, UV light, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, and other quats. Now that you know what we use, you must know how companies like Germinator apply these solutions and why we're using the right tools for the job.
Get It Done Right
We mentioned earlier that we test surfaces for ATP, but we didn't dive in-depth about it or how we apply our solutions. Our approach makes us unique because we use luminometers to test for ATP, which gives off light because ATP is an energy molecule in all living organisms. This is becoming the new industry standard for disinfection companies, so it's best to have a company like Germinator to come in and provide service with such a level of detail in our methods.
There's another industry-standard you should be aware of when you're deciding what company to use (Germinator of course!) and it's how they apply their solutions. Electrostatic sprayers are the industry standard among disinfection companies. We use it when we apply our Genesis and Shield solutions for an even coat because it is the most efficient and cost-effective means of delivering our products to their intended application sites.
There are many ways companies can deliver their products, and one example of which is a cold fogging machine. However, the problem with companies using this method of applying solutions is that the droplets being sprayed are rather large and can create an uneven coat that takes ages to dry. They're also slower to apply, so it might take a lot of your time versus hiring us to perform the work for you in an efficient and timely manner.
Whether you're a business owner, homeowner, or maybe both, it's important to do your research and get educated, especially now with the global pandemic plaguing our communities. Choosing the right company that uses the right solution(s) and methods is a major decision to make. Having said that, choosing Germinator for your sanitizing and disinfecting needs is the best choice you can make for you and your family or your customers and employees. All you have to do is fill out the form on this page or call us at (412) 532-7200
to schedule our first-rate services. We look forward to creating a cleaner and more hygienic environment made just for you.