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Ditching the disinfectant

As society continues to navigate the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, James White of Denis Rawlins explains why it’s time to ditch toxic, ineffective cleaning chemicals in the fight against Coronavirus.

It has been over a year now since COVID-19 hit our shores, and we are currently taking cautious steps out of lockdown number three as we speak.

The nation is waiting with bated breath to see how the easing of restrictions will impact infection levels, in the hope that we have finally got the virus under control. If we really want to make this lockdown our last, we need to make sure that the precautions that we're taking are not only fit for purpose, but are also safe and sustainable. After all, we will be living alongside the virus for many years to come.

Over-reliance on disinfectant

Over the past 12 months, hygiene has quite rightly been thrust into the spotlight. As one of the main lines of defence against COVID-19, we have seen both domestic and professional cleaning boom. So much so, that sales of disinfectants have hit record highs for many brands.

As a nation we have relied on disinfectant for decades. We’re told by its manufacturers that it has the power to kill a very high percentage of bacteria and viruses found on surfaces, and for that reason it has become a household and professional staple cleaning product.

“If an area has been truly cleaned, with all traces of dirt and bacteria removed, harsh treatments and disinfectants are not necessary.”

However, what many people don’t realise is that an over- reliance on disinfectant can actually be counterproductive. Like the losing battle of antibiotics against superbugs, disinfectants become increasingly ineffective over time.

The reality is that, although the solution may kill most bacteria, it doesn’t remove them, leaving dead microbes along with any surviving germs spread across the surface. These microbes, dead or alive, will serve as a food source for the next wave of bugs.


Some bacteria also produce biofilms that can effectively defend them from cleaning agents. So, there is a real danger that disinfectant only increases the bacterial resistance, rendering it ineffective after consistent use.

Chemical overkill

There is also a misconception about what it takes to kill SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) on surfaces and the skin. Due to the widespread destruction that the virus has caused, many believe that only the harshest, alcohol-based chemicals have the power to beat it.

Yet when you look at the hierarchy of pathogens, SARS- CoV-2 is pretty low down on the list, making it relatively easy to kill. In fact, soap and water will do the trick.

Getting back to basics

It’s certainly worth bearing this in mind before splashing heavy, toxic chemicals around. If an area has been truly cleaned, with all traces of dirt and bacteria removed, harsh treatments and disinfectants are not necessary.

By simply adding water, and a pure cleaning solution that’s uncontaminated by previous use, high-flow fluid extraction can then be used to take away the used solution, storing it separately for disposal. This leaves you with a clean surface, with cleanliness levels that can be proven through Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) measurements. No disinfectant required.

This method of cleaning should be carried out at regular intervals, ideally daily, to ensure that the removal of the day’s dirt is all that’s required – a simple task when using the correct techniques.

Stopping the spread

However, the above process is not quite enough to stop the spread when used in isolation, due to the persistent, and extremely contagious nature of COVID-19.

Clean, COVID-free surfaces are a great start, but they’re unlikely to stay that way for long. This is why it is crucial to protect those areas with a microbial barrier to prevent reinfection for weeks to come. Once again, this doesn’t mean splashing on the chemicals.

We have recently added a revolutionary British product to our portfolio, which not only offers the highest levels of protection against SARS-CoV-2, but is also incredibly safe, with ultra-low toxicity.

GermErase, which is available as a multi-purpose cleaning spray and hand sanitiser, kills COVID-19 in under 30 seconds. It provides a 99.9999% 6-log protective barrier against pathogens for 48 hours and leaves a 99.99% 4-log residual effect for 28 days.

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