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ICAN/ATEX: Is there a chemical with a kill time of less than three minutes?

December 14, 2012
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Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Friday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

Is there any chemical that has a killing contact time of three minutes or less?

Friday’s Answer:

Certainly, but it depends on what you are killing. Here are some recommended dwell times for common disinfectants.

cleaningSodium hypochlorite (bleach): Dwell time of five to 10 minutes

Phenols/chlorinated phenols: Dwell time of about 10 minutes

Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats): Dwell time of about 10 minutes

Silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC): Dwell time of 30 seconds to 10 minutes

You may note that SDC, which is fairly new to the disinfectant scene, offers kill times as low as 30 seconds — and that is fast. However, that is for bacteria and not fungus or viruses, which take 10 minutes.

The reason for providing dwell time is to allow the chemical to stay in contact with the microorganism long enough to do whatever it does to disrupt the lifecycle. If the chemical … - Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor.

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