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Thursday's Ask the Experts: Porous surface disinfectant

December 03, 2009
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Thursday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: Does anyone know of a disinfectant that has a "kills claim for porous surfaces." I currently use Virex-256 from JohnsonDiversey Inc. and Dispatch from Caltech Industries Inc., neither of which has this claim.
Answer #1:
A dry steam vapor system is especially effective on irregular, uneven or textured surfaces. Since steam penetrates pores that many chemicals and abrasive cleaners cannot, it is a thorough, reliable means of surface disinfection. The chemical-free system also provides additional ... Allen P. Rathey, president of InstructionLink/JanTrain Inc.
Answer #2:
This may be similar to asking if there is any bullet that will penetrate bullet-proof armor plate. The reason a disinfectant may not be rated for use on porous surfaces is that it cannot kill what it cannot contact, and porous surfaces are good at holding substances that protect micro-organisms from contact.
Another way of looking at this is that if the surface is porous enough to hold and hide soils and germs, then it is not likely to act easily as a transfer point. If these things are so "out of touch" as to prevent their destruction by disinfectant, they will not readily be contacted by humans either.
Most disinfectants used
... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor
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