Glenn Rasin

By: Glenn Rasin on April 9th, 2020

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3 Ways to Maximize Your Facility’s Disinfectant Supply During a Shortage [VIDEO]

Implementing an effective cleaning and disinfecting process is important to protecting your facility against Coronavirus. 

However, as the situation regarding the novel Coronavirus outbreak continues there is a high demand for infection control products. Facilities are more aware of their cleaning and disinfection protocols, and are requiring additional product for more frequent disinfection processes.

Orders for essential items like disinfectants and other related products have increased across the nation as Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread. Manufacturers of these products are having difficulty keeping up with demand, and your current disinfectant may be in short supply.

To get the most out of your current supply of chemical, do not try to save the chemical by using the wrong dilution ratio. Without the right dilution, germs will not be killed.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to get the necessary product, this article and video will review 3 ways to get the most out of your facility’s current supply of disinfectant. 

If you are not in short supply of disinfectant and have product readily available, you should continue to adhere to your current cleaning and disinfecting processes. This is not the preferred method of cleaning and disinfection in a normal environment and should not be used as a way to cut costs.

How to Make Your Disinfectant Last When in Short Supply 

If your disinfectant is limited due to the current Coronavirus situation, procedural changes may be necessary. These tips should only be used if you are experiencing a shortage of disinfectant products. 

To get the most out of your facility’s current supply of disinfectant use these 3 tips: 

  1. Disinfect Using the Two-Step Method 
  2. Clean More Frequently, Disinfect Periodically 
  3. Focus on High Touch Points

1. Disinfect Using the Two Step Method

In order to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the CDC recommends using a two-step cleaning and disinfecting process.

Under “normal circumstances”, disinfecting can be done in either a one-step or two-step process.  

In the one-step disinfecting process, cleaning and disinfecting are performed at the same time.  

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A one step process is used when there is a minimal soil load and by using an EPA registered cleaner/disinfectant. Cleaners/disinfectants remove and kill germs at the same time. 

While there are some one-step cleaner/disinfectants still available, using separate cleaning and disinfectant products will allow you to increase cleaning procedures throughout your facility.

Cleaning products are not as limited in supply as disinfectants and will still help you to remove as much as 90% of soils and germs.

Cleaning separately will allow you to frequently clean your facility, while periodically disinfecting low traffic areas. Your disinfectants, which are in short supply, can be reserved for disinfection of high-touch point areas.

In the two-step disinfecting process, the surface is cleaned and disinfected using two different products in two different steps. First, a cleaning agent is applied to remove visible and loose soils from the surface or object. Then, a disinfectant is applied to the surface or object.

Related: Find out more about the one-step and two-step disinfecting process

Separating your disinfecting procedure into two steps will allow you to capitalize on cleaning with available cleaning agents while maximizing your current supply of disinfectant.

2. Clean More Frequently, Disinfect Periodically 

To further extend the life of your disinfectant, your staff should focus on increasing cleaning procedures throughout your facility. They can then reserve disinfectant for high touch points with periodic disinfection of low traffic areas. 

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different procedures. Cleaning is the process of physically removing germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces. 

Proper cleaning alone will remove up to 90% of soils and pathogens from the surface, but cleaning does not kill germs. Disinfectants kill 100% of germs listed on the product’s label when used properly. 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Under MicroscopeTo learn more about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, check out our article: What is the Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting?

Protocols for effective disinfecting typically encourage users to clean and disinfect a surface every time. However, due to the low supply of disinfectants, it may not be possible to disinfect every time an area is cleaned. Instead of disinfecting every time an area is cleaned, periodically disinfect low-traffic or less critical areas. 

As mentioned earlier, cleaning agents are not as in short supply as disinfectants, therefore allowing you to increase your cleaning schedule. Increasing the number of times you clean can help reduce the number of soils and germs on surfaces. Although cleaning is not killing germs it is the next best method of reducing germ spread throughout your facility. 

Disinfecting high-touch points is always important and should continue to be a priority, especially when you have to limit the frequency and areas covered.

3. Focus on High-Touch Points 

If you decide you need to limit the number of times you are disinfecting lower-priority areas throughout your facility, you will need to increase disinfection of high-touch point areas. 

High-touch surfaces are any areas that are frequently touched by people throughout the day. 

Focusing on high-touch points will reduce the amount of disinfectant used throughout your facility, and will kill germs from the areas where they are most likely to be found.  

Cleaning TouchpointsHigh-touch surfaces include: 

  • Door Handles, Door Knobs, & Handrails
  • Light Switches
  • Phones
  • Computer Keyboards and Mouse
  • Desks
  • Chair Arms
  • Copier Buttons
  • Remotes
  • Equipment Keypads
  • Elevator Buttons
  • Vending Machine Buttons 
  • Sink and Faucet Handles 
  • Breakroom Tables and Chairs 
  • Kitchen Appliance Handles 
  • Counter Tops

Increased disinfection of high-touch surfaces will be essential to protecting your facility. 


Final Thoughts 

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, which is why cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is so important.

The demand for infection control products like disinfectants continues to rise as the nation battles the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak. As orders continue to increase, manufacturers are having difficulty keeping up with the higher demand.

If you are in short supply of disinfectant products, making the most of your current supply will be critical to protecting your facility. 

Using the two-step disinfecting method will allow you to clean as frequently as needed. The supply of cleaning products is not as tight as disinfectants and will still help you to remove as much as 90% of soils and germs from surfaces. However, frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces should be continued to help limit the spread of germs.

Although a change in disinfecting procedures is not ideal, it is an option to maintain your cleaning and disinfecting regimen and allow you to maximize your disinfectant during a shortage. 

While EBP is not immune to supply shortages, we are committed to helping you combat the spread of Coronavirus throughout your facility. 

EBP will continue to monitor this ongoing situation, and as news becomes available, we will provide updated information. For more detailed information about SARS-CoV-2, visit: https://www.ebpsupply.com/blog/protect-facility-coronavirus 

Check Out these Additional Resources: 

About Glenn Rasin

Glenn Rasin is the Chemical Specialist for EBP Supply Solutions and Lead Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He is an ISSA CMI-certified trainer, with over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.