About Sanitizers

  • Sanitizers are used on non-porous surfaces to kill microorganisms of bacteria or fungus. They will not work on non-sealed wood surfaces. They need to be in contact with the surface for normally about 30 seconds to be effective.
  • The surface must be clean as any organic matter can render the sanitizer ineffective. When using sanitizers, first wash the surface to cleanse it completely, and then rinse it off before using the sanitizer.
  • Sanitizers must have a microorganism contamination reduction of 99.999%.
  • Some types are based upon alcohol which is used at a 60-95% concentration. Isopropyl, ethanol, or n-propanol are used.
  • Non-alcohol types used are Triclosan or Quats like Benzalkonium Chloride. The Quats have good stability, are odorless, non-corrosive, and stable at high temperatures, but will react with organics left on the surface, so the surface must be very clean. They can be irritating to the skin.
  • Biofilms can be very difficult to remove, shielding the bacterial cells. The biofilms are a collection of microorganisms growing together in a matrix of polymers secreted by the microorganism.
  • Sanitizers will not kill spores, so after the surface has been sanitized, the spores can grow and reproduce more microorganisms like mold as long as sufficient moisture and food exists. Sanitizing is only a one time decontamination of a surface, and the surface will need to be treated again if the conditions for growth remain. Spores are everywhere in the environment and are continuously landing on exposed surfaces.