Anxiety about cleaning best practices is no longer relegated to healthcare and food services decision-makers. In the COVID era, everyone has to be thinking about sanitization. Salons and shops that once might disinfect only at the end of the day are now meticulously cleaning between customers. Hotels and restaurants have had to transform their routines for more rigor and frequency. And as schools and day-care centers weigh the risks of bringing kids back through their doors this fall, resources and capacity for adequate disinfection is a major hurdle.
The calculus of cleaning has changed forever. And unfortunately the limitations of conventional sanitizing methods have also been exposed. While the vast majority of disinfectants do an excellent job of killing pathogens, the fact remains that their efficacy stops there. Once the surface is dry, any micro-droplet or momentary touch by an ungloved hand can mean instant recontamination.
However, there are technologies that can help sustain antimicrobial action between disinfections and during regular use, potentially reducing infection risk and even cleaning costs.
Protecting surfaces between cleanings with microbiostatic agents
Aerosols include microdroplets expelled when someone exhales, speaks or coughs; the larger and heavier of those respiratory droplets simply fall to the nearest surface where they can start reproducing. Even flushing a toilet produces a combination of airborne, aerosolized droplets and larger droplets that land on and contaminate surrounding surfaces. Contaminated surfaces that can transmit pathogens are known as fomites and can range from high-touch objects like door handles and light switches to surfaces in a surgical suite to play equipment and kitchen countertops. For all of these kinds of surfaces, there is a longer-lasting alternative to once-and-done disinfectants.
Microbiostatic or “dry-state” antimicrobial agents are those that stay active on a surface long after they have been sprayed or wiped on. They actually polymerize on the potential fomite to form a monomolecular layer that destroys microbes, and that protection can last for months. Interestingly, the destruction is mechanical, not chemical, so there are no poisons involved. Envision water balloons dropped on a bed of nails, and you get the picture. Perhaps most important, the barrier layer stays put through routine cleaning, so the technology can be used in concert with regular disinfection regimens.
Especially when applied with an electrostatic sprayer or fogging unit, microbiostatic agents adhere to surfaces under, inside, and in between potential fomites throughout an environment: places where daily cleaning typically doesn’t reach.
Where disinfection leaves off, Novalent kicks in
Novalent is the leader in microbiostatic dry-state technology. Made in the US, Novalent™ technology is a non-toxic liquid that can be easily sprayed or wiped on any porous or non-porous surface in environments from healthcare to schools to public transportation. Water-based and odorless, it is also approved by the EPA for use on food-contact surfaces. And unlike disinfectants that stop working when they dry, Novalent actually starts working when it’s dry and keeps working for up to 90 days.