KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While cleaning wipes have been hard to find recently, some metro experts on disinfecting surfaces have some sobering news: Chances are, many of us have been doing it wrong anyway.
“People will tell me, ‘Yeah, we clean. We disinfect.’ But then, they’re really not,” said Don McNulty with Crime Scene Cleaners.
The company routinely works with police departments to clean up crime scenes involving homicides, suicides and unattended deaths.
But this month, they’ve been busy fighting the new public enemy number one — coronavirus.
“So far this week, we’ve taken care of about 500,000 square feet of business,” Jeremy Cumberford said. “By some time next week, we will be approaching one million.”
The company’s also actively getting the word out on the proper way to truly disinfect surfaces because, turns out, most of us haven’t been disinfecting a thing.
“You need to use the disinfectant properly, meaning a wet contact time,” McNulty said. “It will be seen on the label as dwell time, and it’ll tell you anything from 45 seconds to up to 10 minutes, to kill whatever you want to kill.”
For example, a name-brand disinfecting wipe should have the dwell-time on the instructions, likely around four minutes. That means a surface needs to remain wet with the disinfectant for four minutes to work.
If a desk or countertop has been wiped down, but is bone dry two minutes later — nothing’s been disinfected.
“Everything that they’ve been taught by mom and grandma and great-grandma on down the line just doesn’t cut it when we’re dealing with something like a pandemic,” McNulty said.