contact time

Understanding “Contact Time” and Why It Matters for Disinfection

Virox Technologies Disinfection Discoveries Blog

When you apply a disinfectant, you want to be sure it’s really doing its job! After all, keeping your surfaces and equipment clean and disinfected is key to compliance, biosecurity and reliable research results. 

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a disinfectant is contact time. Contact time—or “wet time”—is how long a disinfectant needs to stay wet on a surface in order to be effective. 

Contact times can range from as little as 15 seconds for common hand sanitizer, to as long as 30 minutes for chlorine oxides used in laboratories. 

Products that require long contact times can evaporate before achieving disinfection, such as in environments with high temperatures and low humidity. This means that disinfection will not be achieved with one application. You would have to reapply the disinfectant—wasting product, time and money. 

Disinfectants with long contact times also reduce compliance because it’s harder to use them correctly. Imagine having to stand there with a timer, observing that the disinfectant is still wet on the surface for up to 30 minutes!

Another problem we typically see when using disinfectants is immediately wiping the surface dry after applying the disinfectant. Always ensure you follow the required contact time when disinfecting a surface for a particular pathogen. Before drying or rinsing, make sure you meet the respective contact time so that you achieve the desired claim.

Instead, look for products with short contact times, which achieve disinfection quickly against fungicidal, bactericidal and virucidal contaminants. 

For example, Peroxigard Ready-to-Use Wipes, formulated with Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide®, needs to stay wet for only 30 seconds to 1 minute in order to achieve disinfection!  Additionally, Peroxigard™ Concentrate, 5 minutes. That’s twice as fast or more than products formulated with chlorine oxides, sodium hypochlorite, quaternary ammonium compounds or potassium peroxymonosulfate.  

While a short contact time is always beneficial, it’s even more important now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. A short contact time means your staff can spend less time disinfecting, reducing staffing needs.. 

In addition to having a short contact time and being effective in the fight against COVID-19, products powered by Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide can help you cut costs and offer a range of other benefits

Learn more by browsing our blog or contacting us to speak to a specialist about your disinfection needs. We’re here to help!