Products That Claim To Kill 99% Germs – The Truth Behind

We all have come across advertisements where various handwashes or dishwashing soaps claim to kill 99% of the bacteria. But how true is this claim? In this article, we will learn about the absolute truth behind these claims, by Dr. Amitabha Saha who is the best internal medicine doctor in Kolkata

Do These Products Kill 99.99% Of Germs?

The use of disinfectants in today’s covid-ridden world is very essential. Maintaining good levels of everyday hygiene is of absolute significance. However, it is on us to check the composition of a product before buying it. Sanitizers and handwashes to dishwashing soaps and detergents come with the guarantee of killing 99.99% of germs which are common bacteria or fungi. We have all seen these on print media ads and digital media ads too. But these claims are often vague promises brands do to promote their products. A single product cannot perform well with all kinds of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores. Although it can be effective on one type of germ, it is quite tough for it to eradicate all the other germs that are present. So, no product can kill 99.995 of the different types of germs present. Most of the products which actively campaign their product on this claim are hardly effective on a small sect of germs.

Generally, such products come with a printed list on their body that names all the germs they can kill. So, the claim to kill 99.99 % of viruses is partly true. Not all disinfectants have the same ingredients in them. Every disinfectant has its unique mix of ingredients, which means that they are effective in different strains of germs. The most common solution used for deep maintenance cleans is composed of bleach, quat, acids, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and silver ions. Each of these mentioned products has its characteristics and specialties when It comes to getting rid of germs. When one or two of these compounds are blended into a solution with other compounds, they effectively eradicate different strains of germs. 

The absence of all germs on a hard surface is called sterilization. No disinfectant in any form is capable of sterilizing a surface. EPA-registered chemical sterilizers are the only products that can successfully rid a surface of all pathogens and germs. 

Things To Look For In A Disinfectant

  • Look for products that are ISO affiliated. This eliminates the risk of the product making claims which it is not going to fulfill.  The ISO certification detail can be found somewhere on the label. It is very important to read the label of a product and know what it constitutes before purchasing it. Buying a product just based on a very attractive advertisement is unsafe. Advertisements are meant to be catchy for promotion purposes. The actual truth of a product lies in the label. 
  • Look for products that constitute sodium hypochlorite as a primary active agent. Sodium hypochlorite is one of the strongest disinfectants which works effectively on a broad spectrum of germs ranging from bacteria (both gram-positive and negative) to viruses (both enveloped non-enveloped) to fungus and spores.
  • Look for products that do not make far-fetched promises. A product that promises to be a tough disinfectant along with being a freshening agent is often diluted. This means that the product will not be very effective on a wide spectrum of germs even though it might smell very good after usage. Look for products that focus on one attribute. 
  • A good disinfectant should not be affected by environmental factors and should be active even when it comes in contact with other soaps and detergents. 
  • Should work actively in the presence of organic matter like feces, urine, blood, etc. 
  • Should not harm the user in the long run since they are going to be indirectly or directly in contact with the substance.
  • Should not harm the environment.
  • A ridiculously high price disinfectant does not ensure absolute disinfection from germs. Using a moderate cost one can do the job too given it has the right compounds in it. 

What Product To Use For What Type Of Germ?

  • If you want protection against the common cold or flu then you should choose a product that provides protection against a wide range of viruses.
  • Schools, colleges, and daycare facilities might look for a disinfectant that works on RSV.
  • Animal care facilities need products that work actively even in the presence of organic compounds like urine, feces, blood, etc. they also need products that will help to disinfect in cases of parvovirus and leukemia. 
  • Hospitals and health care units should look for various disinfectants since one might not be enough to fight the array of germs present there. 

Why It Is Important To Maintain Hygiene?

Maintaining the best levels of personal hygiene Is very important. It protects us from diseases like cold, stomach flu, etc. by maintaining precautions and good levels of hygiene we can avoid common diseases. To learn more about how to disinfect daily use objects to avoid coming in contact with viruses in this covid ridden world, one should consult dr. Amitabha Saha, the best gastroenterologist in Kolkata.