Are Natural Disinfectants Effective? How to Know If a Cleaner Really Kills Germs

We all want our household surfaces to sparkle and shine, but it’s not just their overall picture that counts: all surfaces that are touched must be disinfected regularly, also. Sure, some of the items in your pantry or fridge (think of vinegar and lemon juice) can effectively clean your countertops, sinks, and other high traffic areas, but they’re not filled with the right ingredients to properly disinfect your room. That doesn’t mean you need to contact traditional all-purpose cleaners to get the job done.

When used properly, herbal disinfectants can be as effective as chemical cleaners. But not all natural cleaners are made alike: to make sure you’re buying the right cleaners, look for those that are approved by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with ingredients like thymol, including Disinfection wipes and cleaning agents of the seventh generation. Whether spray or wipe, these natural disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces, but act more slowly than chemical disinfectants. For proper disinfection, clean the surface with soap and water before using the disinfectant of your choice and, depending on the product instructions, let it sit to kill 99.999% of the germs.

Please note: All cleaning agents that claim to kill germs require an EPA registration. It is what that Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab Used as a guide when testing disinfectants and disinfectants. If you follow the instructions, the product will work as indicated. With that said, here are a Some information about disinfectionwhether you choose natural or chemical products:

  • Disinfecting is not the same as disinfecting. Disinfection (reducing the risk of disease by killing 99.9% of the germs) usually takes less time – sometimes only 30 or 60 seconds – while disinfection (killing 99.999% of the germs) can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the product.
  • Check the label to see how long hard, non-porous surfaces need to stay wet for the most effective germ killing. Because liquids evaporate, you may need to apply the product multiple times.
  • No product can sufficiently disinfect or disinfect a dirty surfaceTherefore, make sure that you clean – even with normal soap and water – before disinfecting.
  • Regular soap and water will remove germs, However, disinfection and disinfection products are required to kill germs.
  • Soft surfaces are porous and will never reach the level of germ kill required for complete disinfection.
  • Never combine disinfectants or cleaning agents (Bleach and vinegar for example) and open the window or ventilate a room if vapors become a nuisance.
  • Test surfaces in a hidden place before using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or a disinfectant on a surface, especially a sensitive one. Rinse on surfaces in contact with food with clear water and dry after disinfection, unless expressly stated otherwise on the product label.

    Are vinegar or lemon juice effective disinfectants?

    In short, no. While citric acid in citrus or acetic acid in vinegar kills some bacteria and is an EPA-registered ingredient, the concentration and pH are not strong enough to disinfect in the same way as other EPA-registered detergents. But if you just want to freshen up your countertop, fridge, or other heavily affected surface, they will at least look cleaner than before.

    Is rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide a smart option?

    The question is whether alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are natural cleaning agents or not, but one thing is certain: both are solid alternatives to chemical disinfectants. Higher alcohol levels evaporate too quickly to be effective. So it’s best to stick to a Cleaning alcohol with 70% isopropyl alcohol or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let the cleaning alcohol rest for at least 30 seconds and hydrogen peroxide for at least one minute before wiping it clean.

    What about steam cleaners?

    Yes, steam is an effective way to kill bacteria and other germs without chemicals. Don’t reach out Your reliable steamer, but: Household steam cleaners like that Bissell SteamShot Deluxereach temperatures high enough to kill germs in hard household jobs. The catch: steam must have direct contact with the surface over a long period of time to be effective. Follow the instructions in your steamer manual for best results.

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