#1 Understand The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
As we discuss at length here, there is a difference in cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. The critical thing to understand is that cleaning is the first step in disinfecting. Cleaning is simply removing dirt and residue, and there isn’t any criteria that cleaning products have to meet when it comes to efficacy. The term “disinfecting” is VERY different and is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In order to be registered as a disinfectant, the product has to go through significant antimicrobial testing and meet rigorous germ-killing standards.
#2 Clean First!
Now that you know the difference, you’re ready to clean! Cleaning can start to reduce germs by removing dirt and residue that can harbor bacteria and viruses, but it does not reduce the germ-load to the 99.9% level. Once a surface is clean, your disinfectant will be able to come into contact with more of the surface, which makes the disinfecting power more effective. You always want your disinfectant to come into contact with 100% of the surface.
#2 Follow Directions
Many disinfectants contain powerful chemicals that can be harmful, so it is important to follow directions closely. Never mix or dilute products unless specifically stated. Mixing products like bleach and ammonia can create toxic gases that can cause injury or even death, so it’s really important to only use these products as the label directs.
Force of Nature does not contain any harsh chemicals and, in fact, our active ingredient is the very same one made by your own immune system: hypochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is created by your body to fight infection and is often used in veterinary medicine, ophthalmology and wound care applications.
#3 Take Safety Precautions
As we mentioned above, disinfectants can contain serious chemicals, so it’s important to take precautions. Wear gloves when handling disinfectants and wash your hands after use. If you do mix products (only according to their directions!), make sure to label them, and always use these products with extreme caution around pets, children and those with respiratory conditions like allergies and asthma. Conventional disinfecting and cleaning products can contain a host of harmful chemicals that can affect our respiratory systems and trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. In fact, one study has found that prolonged exposure to cleaning products is as dangerous as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
Force of Nature is certified to be skin-safe and best for sensitive skin by the Mayo Clinic, so you can use it without gloves and don’t need to rinse surfaces after use!
#4 Allow Adequate Disinfecting Time
Every disinfectant registered by the EPA has a “dwell time” which is the time used in their testing within which the product kills 99.9% of the viruses, germs and bacteria it says it does. This doesn’t mean that it takes 10 minutes for the product to work, but it is the time the EPA used, so if you want to be super sure, you should leave the product in place for the amount of time indicated.
#6 Last, But Not Least: Store Safely
Every day, over 300 children are treated in an emergency department for poisoning including from ingesting medications and household cleaners. Always store disinfecting products out of reach of children and pets. As mentioned above, always label homemade, diluted or mixed products so that it’s clear what’s in them, too.
We’re proud to offer our revolutionary an EPA-registered disinfectant that is powerful enough to kill 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and germs without harmful or toxic chemicals: Force of Nature. We’re real people who struggle to balance parenting, work and life in a pandemic alongside our customers, so we know firsthand how important it is to effectively disinfect our homes and protect ourselves from SARS-CoV-2, without exposing our kids and pets to harmful chemicals.