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What Is Contact Time & Why Is It So Important When Using Surface Disinfectant Wipes?

Cleaning our surroundings with surface disinfectant wipes – from every corner of our home to surfaces like tables and chairs when outdoors – has become an essential step to eliminate germs and bacteria that can cause one to fall sick. 

In fact, an article by Healthline reported that some of the germiest spots in our homes are the kitchen and bathroom surfaces, doorknobs and handles. We come into contact with these surfaces more than we think on a daily basis and then proceed to touch food and other items without washing our hands, which could potentially lead to cross-contamination. 

Hence, cleaning with disinfectants is vital to effectively remove all traces of bacteria and germs but while you are at the task, it is also necessary to pay attention to contact time. Whether you are gearing up for a serious cleaning spree or just doing simple wiping of high-touch surfaces, contact time matters. Read on to ensure your next cleaning is thorough and well worth the effort!

What is contact time?

image of someone wipes the wall using surface disinfectant wipes

Contact time, or wet time, is the amount of time a disinfectant needs to stay wet on a surface in order to effectively kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and all other allergens living on it. The contact time is typically indicated on the label of surface disinfectant wipes and sprays, and can range from as low as 15 seconds to 10 minutes and more, depending on what needs to be eliminated. 

If you are not waiting long enough or are wiping the surface dry before the prescribed contact time, you will still be potentially exposing yourself to germs that can make you sick. 

Thus, if a disinfectant wipe with a long contact time evaporates or dries up quickly, simply wipe down the surface again to ensure it is fully disinfected. 

Did you know that the way you wipe matters too?

While taking note of the contact time when using disinfectant wipes is crucial to ensure that a surface is germ-free, making sure that you are wiping in an S-shaped pattern is also vital. Instead of wiping side to side, wipe surfaces down by drawing an ‘S’ to avoid re-contaminating the areas that you have already cleaned. 

It is also important to stick to a “one wipe, one surface” rule when using disinfectant wipes to prevent spreading germs and dirt from one surface to another. Remember – one wipe is simply not powerful enough to disinfect several surfaces. 

Selecting the right disinfectant product

Before you start cleaning, checking that you have purchased the right type of product for your intended usage is also key to effective cleaning. 

Cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting all mean different things; cleaning simply refers to the physical removal of dirt and grime from surfaces or objects, sanitising means lowering the number of bacteria to a safe level but not killing viruses, while disinfecting kills all harmful bacteria and viruses. 

If you are looking to disinfect surfaces either at home or when you are out and about, then consider getting surface disinfectant wipes that are easy to use and hassle-free to bring out. 

Other components to look out for when selecting surface disinfectant wipes include whether they have broad-spectrum efficacy, which is the ability to kill a wide range of pathogens like fungi, bacteria, and viruses. 

hospicare and zappy product that using in hospital grade disinfectant wipes singapore

Freshening Industries’ hospital-grade disinfectant wipes, the HospiCare 70% Isopropyl Alcohol Wipes, are great for powerful disinfection of hard surfaces as they contain a fast-acting solution that can kill 99.99% of bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is tested against EN 14476 and proven to be able to kill enveloped viruses, including coronavirus, in just 30 seconds. 

However, if you are using disinfectant wipes on household surfaces, the Zappy Lifestyle Antibacterial Household & Kitchen Wipes may be a better choice as it uses 100% plant-based cleaning actives and biodegradable ingredients to kill 99.99% of germs while removing stubborn stains and grime as well. 

Shop our range of surface disinfectant wipes here