Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Alcohol as a Disinfectant?

Surface disinfection is important in the cooler servicing room but it is essential not to leave any residual disinfectant on water-contact surfaces. Peroxide spray is excellent in this respect because breakdown products are water and oxygen. However, some brands of peroxide spray can be expensive.

Alternatives tend to leave a residue of disinfectant unless rinsed off thoroughly. This is true of the low-cost cleaner/sanitizer types of spray and those containing a quaternary disinfectant, which should not be used at all if there is a danger of the product being sprayed onto water-contact surfaces.

An alternative to consider is alcohol. This has been used for many years in the medical profession and in dentistry. Alcohol is very volatile and will quickly evaporate from a surface leaving no residue. The germ-kill effect is excellent and there are no problems of oxidising interaction with skin which leaves those white patches seen with peroxide.

From a cost point-of-view, the alcohol may be diluted with water and still maintain good efficacy. Users in the UK need to be registered  with Customs and Excise but this is a simple formality.

Using strong, lint-free dry wipes and alcohol solutions in the cooler servicing room provides an interesting alternative to peroxide and other disinfectants. 

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