Sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces is the go-to way to get rid of disease risks, but there’s a chance you aren’t actually killing any germs when cleaning; a quick spray and wipe won’t be eliminating any bacteria.

When it comes to disinfecting or sanitizing areas, it’s extremely important to check the dwell time, or contact time, on your cleaning solutions. The dwell time tells you how long a surface must be saturated with the solution to kill germs-- if you wipe it off right after spraying or it dries up before the dwell time rolls around, those germs will still be active. You might THINK everything is cleaned off because you used a disinfectant, but it isn’t.

Since disinfectants only work when wet, you will probably need to reapply your solution several times to reach that dwell time and kill off the bacteria present-- disinfectant wipes don’t contain a lot of liquid, so you will have to re-wipe everything constantly for it to be effective. There’s also a chance that your wipes will be overused and you won’t be getting even coverage on your surfaces, leaving holes for bacteria to stick around. For this reason, spray disinfectants will be more convenient for reaching dwell times; it will be quicker to re-spray surfaces and will offer better coverage, not needing to be reapplied as often.

It’s extremely important to follow the dwell times on your products-- without reaching them, you won’t actually be disinfecting anything. Be sure to follow these guidelines in the future as you clean to assure that you and your loved ones stay as safe and healthy as possible!