I admit, tonight I jumped to conclusions when it came to my husband’s choice of dish soap. The front panel proudly boasted “KILLS 99.9% of germs”. Being an expert of chemical disinfectants I instantly assumed that while I have talked, I have explained, I have educated and yes, probably even nagged against the concerns over the use of antibacterial products at home and triclosan in particular, he had chosen to ignore my advice and expertise. I automatically jumped to the conclusion that he had yet again.....not listened.
But to be sure (and of course to prove I was right), I read the back of the label. To my surprise, the detergent did not contain triclosan but citric acid and as we have discussed in one of the Chemistry Report Cards....citric acid is not too bad. Good job husband! I even learned after admitting to him I had jumped to conclusions that he read the panel looking for the active ingredient before buying it! Double awesome! Not only had he listened, he paid attention!
While I was checking the label for the active ingredient I figured I may as well read the instructions... Remember we’re talking about a dish detergent. You know the stuff you squirt into water to make it all sudsy? You know the one that you’re supposed to dilute before you use? Have you ever read the label to see what the instructions are so that you can achieve the 99.9% kill claim? I haven’t; after all, I’m washing dishes by hand and not particularly concerned with whether or not I achieve any level of sanitizing or disinfection. I want them clean. I also know that any bactericidal activity will likely be overwhelmed by the food soils I’m putting into the water.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that in order to achieve the disinfection claim as boasted by the front panel the dish detergent needed to be used UNDILUTED and left on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping off. Now who on earth would use a dish detergent in that manner! I mutter and grumble when I put too much in the water and the suds become unmanageable and the dishes slippery!
The moral of the story is, just as we have preached in several of our "Talk Clean To Me" blogs, the need to understand how to use disinfectants e.g. the right dilution, the right method of application and the right contact time, we can’t forget that reading labels does not stop when we walk out of our “office” doors. We all use chemicals at home, be it bathroom cleaner-disinfectants, window cleaners, soap scum removers or liquid dish detergents. Go check your labels! Do you have anything at home that you thought was a disinfectant and assumed it killed on contact time because that’s the impression given during advertisement on the TV?
Bugging Off! I have more labels to read.....