During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve all become hyper-focused on cleanliness and ensuring that we’re doing our part in keeping healthy. As such, cleaners and disinfectants have taken center stage in many conversations as we compare cleaning methods to see who might have the upper hand.

One thing to keep in mind: just because something looks clean doesn’t mean that it’s sanitary. Germs are invisible to the naked eye, so for peace of mind on true cleanliness, you’ll need to brush up on the following facts about disinfectants.

Dwell Time
You may not have given much thought to how long a disinfectant should stay on a surface in order to be effective, but a product’s “dwell time” is just as important in fighting germs as the product’s formula. Read the product’s instructions and follow them to ensure that you’re using it properly.

For example, Clorox wipes require that you “use enough wipes for the treated surface to remain visibly wet for four minutes” and then allow the surface to air-dry.

Once you clean a surface with your disinfecting wipe, the surface will remain clean until it is exposed to germs…and the amount of time is inconsequential. Whether it’s one hour after cleaning or one second, it will become contaminated. Disinfect surfaces often if you’re caring for someone with an illness, or look into Microban 24, a line of products from Proctor & Gamble that provides 24 hours of antibacterial protection to a clean surface.

It is possible for germs to become resistant to disinfectants. This is due to the microbes mutating into forms that are resistant to the disinfectant. Instead, consider the “targeted hygiene” method, where you focus on high-contact areas like handles, doorknobs, and countertops.

Source: Apartment Therapy, 3 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Disinfectants