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THE INFECTION CONTROL EXPERTS

Creating Healthy Workspaces Since 1997

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The Myth of Spray and Wipe (and the Key to Effective Disinfection)

The end of the pandemic is finally in sight—if you turn your head sideways and squint your eyes. The promise of vaccines has given us long-awaited hope that life may return to some semblance of normal in the near future, but realistically, that vision is still months away.

In other words, enhanced cleaning and regular disinfection of our homes and offices remains part of our everyday existence. In fact, these should become a mainstay of our lives. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be diligent about preventing disease and protecting our health.

The pathogen that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2, a type of coronavirus. Like other viruses, it needs a host to survive. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread through surfaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

The good news? Coronaviruses are among the easiest viruses to kill. Proper—and quick—disinfection can eliminate the virus and prevent the spread of disease. 

This fall, APEX partner R-Water announced the results of an independent laboratory test confirming that the company’s one-step healthcare-grade disinfectant, TK60, kills the coronavirus in just 30 seconds. That’s four times faster than Lysol and 20 times faster than most commercial disinfectants. 

Different disinfectants have different contact times, or the amount of time that the product must remain visibly wet on a surface before being wiped off in order to be effective. If you don’t wait the recommended amount of time, you can leave behind millions of disease-causing germs. 

And because disinfectants only work when they are wet, they often have to be reapplied multiple times to maintain the required contact time. You can’t just set it and forget it; you have to monitor the surface and make sure it is still wet.

In order for a product to be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a one-step healthcare-grade disinfectant, it must kill 98.3% of the pathogens tested in 10 minutes or less. TK60 kills 100% of the pathogens tested for healthcare-grade disinfection in just one minute. TK60 also eliminates 99.997% of the coronavirus in half a minute, far surpassing the EPA’s requirements. 

A short contact time is more than a convenience. It is a necessity for proper disinfection.

Think about it: How often do you wait 10 minutes to wipe off a cleaner after spraying it on your kitchen counter? You probably wait only a few seconds. Even trained cleaning professionals who understand the importance of contact time can have a hard time waiting. In a busy office building, with employees and visitors coming and going, it’s practically impossible to allow disinfectants to dwell long enough. Recognizing this limitation, the CDC recommends facility managers choose disinfecting products with the shortest contact time. 

The spray-and-wipe method of disinfection is a myth. 

Many disinfectants also contain hazardous chemicals that can cause a number of health issues, from irritated eyes to asthma, when used improperly or without proper protective gear. Long-term exposure has even been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

In other words, if you’re using disinfectants without following the manufacturer’s guidelines to a T, you’re not just wasting time and money. You may in fact be doing more harm than good.

R-Water’s TK60 is both fast and safe. The hypoallergenic disinfectant is made up of 99.98% water and .02% hypochlorous acid (HOCl). This is the same compound that white blood cells produce to fight pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. HOCI is nontoxic to humans and animals, it doesn’t damage surfaces, and it has been scientifically proven to be effective against the coronavirus.

TK60 is produced through R-Water’s patented device that allows organizations to produce up to 450 gallons of cleaning and disinfecting solutions on-site every day. The disinfectant can then be applied using the method of choice, including electrostatic spraying. It costs pennies on the dollar, eliminates wasteful packaging, and is fragrance-free.

APEX incorporates TK60 in our infection control services. As a preferred partner of R-Water, we’re happy to tell you more! Give us a call at 844-462-7391 to learn how you can use TK60 in your facility.