Think disinfectant sprays actually kill germs? Read this.


Today’s powerful disinfectant spray cleaners do a good job of killing germs, but only if you use them properly. Which most of us don’t. If you’re anything like me, you give your desk, counters and other surfaces a quick mist of sanitizing solution and wipe. Turns out that method doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Read on to find out how to actually kill germs on surfaces. 

1. Clean the surface first.

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You need to get rid of dirt and debris to completely expose the surface to the the spray. After all, you are trying to kill germs on the surface, not in the dirt. So clean any heavy soil before you use your sanitizing solution.

2. Really drench the surface with the sanitizing solution.

This tip applies to hand sanitizers as well. You need to make sure the surface is completely wet and covered for the sanitizing solution to do its job.

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3. Let it sit for a while.

Even the most powerful disinfectants need a little time to work. How long? Well that depends on what you’re trying to do. Controlling bacteria takes less time to accomplish than getting the 99.9% killing power most disinfectants advertize. The longer you allow the sanitizing solution to remain in contact with the surface, the more germs you’ll kill.

  • To kill 99.9% of germs and fungi on non-porous surfaces, let the disinfectant sit for 6 minutes.
  • To sanitize / control bacteria, let the solution set for 15 seconds.
  • To sanitize fabrics and upholstery, let the solution completely air dry. (Always perform a spot check before using disinfectants on fabric.)

4. Wipe up the sanitizing solution.

Once you’ve allowed enought time to elapse for the sanitizing solution to work its mojo, wipe the surface dry. You don’t have to do any rinsing. In fact, soap and water will completely remove sanitizers. Always clean first, then disinfect.

12 comments on “Think disinfectant sprays actually kill germs? Read this.

  • Therapy
    For hands and wrists.
    Hold a 2 lb. Weight in each hand roll it in your open hand toward fingers and back to palm.
    Use as a pencil to exercise fingers and strengthen muscles.

    • Alyssa Ochs says:

      Thanks, Norma. It's so important to stretch and strengthen the wrists and hands if you type all day and do other office tasks!

    • Depends on what you're using it for. But yes, Lysol can be very effective! Make sure to read the label of the particular Lysol product you have though since the brand has various products.

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    • Lysol Disinfectant Spray is NOT intended for use in the air. It’s for use on surfaces. Always read the label directions folks!

      • and spraying it on surfaces isnt going to stop a cough you already have.
        I just saw an add for a spray that remains effective longer than most of the others on hard surfaces, I forgot the name and am now trying to find it, any suggestions welcomed

        • You may be thinking of is Micro Ban which claims to be effective for 24 hours after the initial spraying on hard surfaces.

    • Spraying the outer surface won’t hurt, but, it’s, pretty much, a waste of time, money, and effort, not to mention that you’d be inhaling fumes that weren’t meant to be breathed in. And, if you’re referring to the cheap, paper-like, masks, that most people have, then you should not use them after about 3 hours of cumulative use, because your exhalations – – which produce carbon dioxide and water vapor – – break down the fibers, making the mask virtually useless. As such, you should simply dispose of it after that time. Also, never wear the mask while driving in a closed car, unless you’re with people you normally don’t hang around with (or trust to use sanitary practices!), because the carbon dioxide can cause you to become dizzy, faint, or even asphyxiate.


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