Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been compulsory to follow health and safety guidelines in order to prevent the spread of illness. Handwashing, mask wearing, and practicing social distancing are everyday preventative measures you can implement to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

While all these actions are effective precautions against viruses, it’s time to consider long-lasting solutions to prevent the spread of germs in high-touch and high-risk scenarios. Sanitizing with sprays, wipes, and gels is a great option for some circumstances, but using an antimicrobial solution is another effective and cutting-edge way to reduce the growth of microbes on a variety of surfaces.

Here are main differences between sanitizing and using an antimicrobial solution.

What is a Sanitizer?

Sanitizing solutions come in many forms: from wipes, to sprays, to soaps. Put simply, a sanitizer is designed to kill or deactivate bacteria upon contact. Sanitizers are often formulated with a high alcohol content, which eliminates bacteria from a surface.

Disinfectants are even more highly effective cleaning agents, often formulated with bleach, which are specifically designed to eliminate viruses, mold, mildew and fungi. Both sanitizers and disinfectants work in a reactionary way. That is, they are applied to areas where germs already exist to rid the area of contaminants.

What is an Antimicrobial Solution?

An antimicrobial solution is formulated to prevent the growth and propagation of microbes on surfaces. Think of antimicrobials as preventative, rather than reactionary like sanitizers. Antimicrobials can either be applied to a surface or built into the makeup of an object. The antimicrobial mixture renders a surface inhospitable to germs, preventing growth and creating a non-viable environment where microbes cannot live. Antimicrobials are applied to reduce the spread of germs on high-touch areas. Additionally, antimicrobials actively minimize bacteria for a longer period of time, so they are an ideal long-term solution for public areas.

Ideal Uses for Sanitizers

Sanitizers are quick, they’re convenient, and they are available at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Because of this, they offer unique advantages in a variety of situations.

For Hands – Sanitizers are commonly used as portable hand hygiene products. Gel sanitizers are easy to transport in small amounts and are highly effective for cleaning hands before meals or after using public restrooms. Companies frequently install hand sanitizing stations for employees and guests to easily and conveniently clean hands on-the-go.

For High-Touch Personal Objects – Phones, laptops, and headphones are objects we use every day. With so much use, it’s easy for these items to become breeding grounds for bacteria. Sanitizing wipes and cleaning sprays are budget-friendly and convenient to use when you need to give your devices a thorough wipe-down at home or at work.

For High-Touch Surfaces – Sanitizing wipes or soaps are effective to thoroughly clean countertops, doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, tv remotes and other high-touch surfaces. Using a sanitizing solution at home helps prevent the spread of germs to family members and guests.

Ideal Uses for Antimicrobials

Since antimicrobials have long-term efficacy, they are ideal in high-traffic public settings. With this simple preventative measure, it’s more difficult for germs to multiply and spread.

At the Airport – We all know that airports are hotspots for disease. Between the long lines at baggage claim, extended waits at the gate, and cramped airplanes there are many locations where germs can take hold. An excellent solution to mitigate biohazards is to incorporate antimicrobial solutions into your security checkpoint. Since passengers have to touch bins, belts, shoes, and bags, there’s a lot of opportunities for bacteria to transfer between travelers. Coating security bins in an antimicrobial solution diminishes the viability of these surfaces as areas where microbes live and multiply.

At the Hospital – Hospitals need to be as careful as possible in preventing the spread of illness between patients, so it’s no wonder that using antimicrobials in hospital environments is a popular choice. Whether they’re applied to dining trays or hospital furniture, antimicrobials help reduce bacteria so each patient has the cleanest hospital experience possible. 

At The Workplace ­– Another common place for diseases to multiply is in professional settings. Because coworkers share a space for up-to eight hours a day, there are plenty of high-touch areas where germs proliferate. To decrease the presence of germs, invest in antimicrobial keyboards, mousepads, staplers, pens and other office equipment.

Using Clean Technologies for a Healthier Future

At Clean Technologies our mission is to provide safe, effective, and cutting-edge cleaning solutions. Our antimicrobial solutions provide a barrier against microbe growth by coating high-touch surfaces and rendering them inhospitable to bacteria. Instead of only relying on sanitizers to eliminate existing bacteria, it’s time to take preventative steps to ensure the health and safety of those around you. Together, we can make the world a healthier (and cleaner!) place.