Should you use antibacterial or antimicrobial cleaners?

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Whilst you might be familiar with the term ‘antibacterial’, you might also come across cleaning products for care homes that describe themselves as ‘antimicrobial’. So what is the difference between these two types of products and is it best to choose one over the other when it comes to disinfecting and sanitising your care home?

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The meaning of antimicrobial

An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops them growing. A microorganism is a tiny living organism that can only be seen through a microscope. Microorganisms include bacteria and some microbiologists also class viruses as microorganisms.

For this reason, only antimicrobial disinfectants can claim to be effective against specific types of viruses and bacteria.

Of course, antibacterial disinfectants and cleaners can still kill bacteria and prevent the development of bacteria-induced illnesses, but they are completely ineffective against viruses. So if you want to be sure you are using a cleaning product that is effective against bacteria and viruses, always opt for antimicrobial cleaner over antibacterial.

 

Never make assumptions when sanitising

Even though antimicrobial products can kill both bacteria and viruses, never assume they are zapping all the nasties you hope they are.

Always make sure that you check the technical information that comes with your care home disinfectant to find out exactly which viruses, spores, fungi and bacteria it is capable of ‘busting’. What’s more, don’t just take for granted that an antimicrobial product does what it says just because the company selling it to you says it does.

Antimicrobial disinfectants have a hugely important role to play in keeping care home residents and staff safe from some very nasty bugs, including some potentially life-threatening illnesses. That is why antimicrobial products have to be put through rigorous independent testing to meet agreed standards of efficacy and safety.

So you are quite within your rights to ask a supplier to give you details of the laboratories that have tested the product and the standards that the product is shown to have met. In fact, any reputable supplier of efficacy antimicrobial disinfectant should include this information upfront in a technical information sheet.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

Use your antimicrobial cleaner properly

To make sure that your antimicrobial cleaner is as effective as possible, or effective at all, you will also need to check usage instructions.

For example, you will need to comply with dilution recommendations where the antimicrobial product is supplied as a concentrate.

You will also need to ensure you give the antimicrobial product the correct contact time where the product needs to stay in touch with surfaces for a set period of time in order for it to take proper effect.

You should also to be aware of how often the product needs to be used to ensure ongoing protection against biohazards.

Finally, keep an eye on the shelf life of your antimicrobial disinfectant as it may not be effective at all beyond a certain date.

 

So what bugs can antimicrobial disinfectant kill?

Depending on the antimicrobial cleaner you buy, it will be able to kill a wide range of bacteria, bacterial spores, fungi and viruses or render the microorganisms inert so they do not pose a risk.

This could be everything from Legionella, Listeria and Salmonella through to the Influenza virus and Hepatitis B.

If you are interested in finding an antimicrobial disinfectant that can tackle all of these and much more, click here for more information.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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