Test Your Disinfecting Knowledge
How much do you know about disinfectants and disinfecting? Test your knowledge with this disinfecting quiz. Answer True or False about the following 10 statements.
Q. A broad spectrum disinfectant will kill all germs on hard surfaces.
False. Disinfectants are designed and registered to kill specific germs (as listed on the label). Even if a disinfectant says it kills 99.999% of microorganisms, be sure to check the label for the exact bacteria and viruses you need to eradicate in your facility. This resource will help you choose the right type of disinfectant for your facility.
Q. When diluting disinfectant concentrates, It’s OK to use more disinfectant than the label indicates, but not less.
False. You should follow the manufacturer’s dilution ratio instructions exactly to ensure proper effectiveness and appropriate chemical usage.
Q. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn when applying and using disinfectants.
True. Protective eyewear and gloves are recommended for most disinfectant application. For bleach or chlorine-based disinfectants, an apron to protect clothing from splatters is also recommended.
Q. If a disinfectant wipe has dried out, it will still disinfect surfaces if I rewet it with a little water.
False. Rewetting the wipe will change the dilution ratio of the disinfectant and reduce the effectiveness. Additionally, the disinfectant has most likely already evaporated.
Q. I need to let a disinfectant remain wet on a surface before wiping it dry.
True, usually. Disinfectants must remain wet on surfaces for entire length of the dwell time / contact time, at the as stated on the label, to ensure all germs are killed. Dwell times can range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on the disinfectant and the germs being killed.
Q. There is a difference between a disinfectant and a sanitizer.
True. Disinfectants and sanitizers are indeed different. Disinfectants usually have a greater efficacy against pathogens than sanitizers. Most sanitizers are designed to kill the types of bacteria that cause foodborne illness and are therefore often used in foodservice environments. Disinfectants generally have broader kill claims and are most often used in healthcare and education settings.
Q. It’s bad to mix cleaners with disinfectants.
True. Don’t ever mix a disinfectant with another cleaning solution. If you do it won’t be effective.
Q. It’s best to clean and disinfect a room by starting with the cleanest area and moving to the dirtiest.
True. Cleaning and disinfecting the dirtiest areas last will help prevent cross-contamination of germs.
Q. Cotton mops are the best type of mops to disinfect floors with.
False. Use microfiber. Mops and cleaning cloths made of synthetic microfiber are considered to be more effective than those made from natural based fibers, due to their resistance to “quat binding” which occurs with natural fibers like cotton. Here’s an explanation of quat binding.
Q. When disinfecting floors in hospitals and healthcare environments, you should change the disinfecting mop solution every 10 patient rooms.
False. The EPA actually recommends that mop solution be changed every 2 to 3 patient rooms in non-ICU areas.