The Characteristics of an Ideal Disinfectant

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When choosing a disinfectant, there is much more to take into account than whether the product is effective against a particular microorganism. Several of the important factors that should be carefully examined when evaluating a disinfectant product or chemistry have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Disinfection Rate

Disinfectants do not completely disinfect on contact. Each product has a set amount of time that it has to be on a surface for disinfection to be fully effective. This is referred to as the "contact time," and any registered disinfectant products will clearly disclose it on the label. The contact time must be observed in order to guarantee terminal disinfection.

Products that dry before this contact time is reached won't completely disinfect the surface, whether it's because the contact duration is too long or because the product contains solvents or alcohols that make it evaporate quickly even with a short in-vitro contact time. The best disinfectant chemistries and products will therefore provide sustainable and practical contact times. This assures that the surface will be effectively disinfected.

Range of Microbial Efficacy

It is difficult to quickly determine which microorganisms are on a surface at any given time. This raises the question of how we can have confidence in disinfectant products that demonstrate effectiveness against only a limited range of bacteria and simple-to-kill viruses. You want to be sure you are using a “broad spectrum” disinfectant capable of handling a wide range of bacteria (including potentially resistant strains), viruses, and fungi.

The Ability to Effectively Clean

An aspect of a disinfectant that is frequently disregarded is its cleaning capacity. The cleaning efficacy - or lack thereof - of a disinfectant has the capacity to influence the entire disinfection process. Cleanliness should always come before disinfection when it comes to environmental infection control best practices. If they are not removed in a timely manner, dust, dirt, and organic soil can act as repositories for infections in your facility as well as cause inactivation of your disinfectant. Cleaning is 90% of the battle of disease control and should be your number one concern in choosing products.

How We Can Help

At Alpha Tech Pet, our products are designed to help keep you and your staff safe and healthy. Our wide range of disinfectants and cleaners are sure to clean your animal care facilities effectively, without you having to worry about if any germs are left behind. You can view our versatile selection of products by viewing the Veterinary Disinfectants and Sanitizers page on our website.

For more information on your facility sanitation, you can take our Alpha Tech Pet Sanitation Assessment at or call our knowledgable staff at (800) 222-5537

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