Disinfection and contact time!

The human mind is a peculiar thing. It is truly amazing to me how we can justify just about anything we do, to make it fit our needs.

Sadly, although it has been apparent to me for many years, since Covid the justifications I have heard regarding proper disinfection is just mind boggling.

I don’t want to use names or even say where I was the other day which, brought me in the direction of writing this article. Not to mention my two previous articles have pretty much to do with the same topic. I’m not trying to call anyone out here, I’m just pointing out the dangers of trying to justify the “why”.

It was a hairstylist whom I was in a conversation with regarding disinfection. She uses Barbicide.

I asked a couple of simple question;

  1. How long do you let your tools/implements (combs/brushes) soak for
  2. How often do you replace the solution

 

 

The answers at this point in time were unfortunately not surprising. However, they were disappointing.

She stated she just leaves them in there “all the time” until she uses them. And, she replaces the liquid when it begins to look cloudy.

I can’t even begin to tell you how bloody my tongue was from biting it.

I continued on with the conversation and asked her “if she knew what the contact time is supposed to be”? She took out the bottle and began to read it….“she wasn’t sure”

I explained to her that I knew Barbicide was a 10 minute contact time solution AND, the solution must be replaced daily.

Her response, “ya, but I’m the only one who uses it and there is no blood on my combs and brushes”.

I then continued with the conversation stating how dangerous it is to have a solution which you dilute with water. I added, not to mention how difficult it would be to get the “proper” ratio each time.

Her response……“I just go by the color”.

What I truly can’t wrap my brain around is not so much about what she is or isn’t doing. I shared with her how our BioSurf is a 50 second contact time, effective for a week, it is not diluted so there is no guessing.

It was as if I never made the statement. 

Sadly, there of many of these Hair, Nails, Skin Care, Massage etc. Technicians doing the very same thing.

Again, I ask the question Why?

  • Why are you using products which are bottom feeders
  • Why do you not care about proper disinfection
  • Why are you not interested in better
  • Why, why, why?

I do understand trying to justify what and why we do something. We have all done it in one situation or another.

When it comes to proper disinfection however, justifying is not allowed.

Improper disinfection can kill someone. It can physically damage them for life. It can turn your world upside down. All for the reason of taking the cheapest way out.

During Covid one of the well known brands offered a “certification” course on disinfection.

I had heard about it, so I decided to take the “test” myself. It was computer generated and you had to pass at least 90% of the test in order to receive your “certificate”.

I thought to myself at the time….”and these are the people our Industry believes?”. It is so sad. The questions were elementary. It was so easy to get to that 80% mark.

As time goes on, even those Technicians who took this “certification” class realize what a joke it was. Yet, many still use that brand.

My point is….if you are going to talk the talk, then you gotta walk the walk.

Everything is expensive….especially when running a Business. If you are serious about your Business, serious about this Industry, serious about doing the right thing…..it might be time “again” to evaluate your sanitary practices.

So, to my point of this article.

  • Do you know your contact time? And, what that exactly means?
  • Do you know your proper mixing ratio?
  • Do you know your replacement time?

Contact time is the amount of time your surface and/or tools/implements NEED to stay wet in order for the solution to properly and completely kill bacteria.

If contact time is 2 minutes, whatever it is you are disinfecting MUST stay wet with the solution in order to kill.

But wait!!!!! That’s not all!!!!

After you have met the Mfg’s required contact time, you must spray again and wipe with a clean towel.

IF you are using your disinfection product as an emerging disinfection, meaning you are soaking your tools/implements…you MUST keep them submerged for the Mfg’s contact time in order for the solution to kill bacteria.

In addition to contact time, there are Mfg’s guidelines on every product as to how often the solution should be replaced.

Read the label

Many, dare I say most…must be replaced daily. This means you must empty your solution at the end of each day and replace your containers with new solution DAILY!

Let’s say you aren’t doing either of the above. Well, in short you are risking your clients life and your Business.

Why? Because the solution becomes in-effective….It is doing nothing.

Are the rewards of saving $$$$, worth the risk?

The last thing I would like to pint out is this…..

When you dilute a product, you reduce the efficacy of that product. Meaning…..it is not as efficient, nor strong.

In addition, it is very difficult to be 100% specific every time you mix. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, I’m just saying it isn’t possible to get the exact same solution each time.

Again, is it worth saving the $$$$ for the risk?

My last 3 blogs have come into fruition due to recent conversations I’ve had with our Technicians. Each conversation helps me to Educate you.

I am not attempting to bad talk, put down or say bad things about any particular brand. I’m simply asking, please….take a look at what you are using, how you are using it and why you are using it.

I know, after being an expert witness in many cases which have been taken to court….the $$$ savings are not worth the risk.

Timing is everything, and as I’ve mentioned in one or two of my previous blogs…we have just completed our “Infection Prevention” Salon manual and it is ready for pre-sale. We are awaiting our printed binders which are expected here the first week of May.

Our Infection Prevention manual is NON-PRODUCT  specific. It is a Salon guideline on the specifics of bacteria we encounter in our Salons, Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization.

Are you ready to get your entire team on the same page? Regardless of what products you use, the basis of “Infection Prevention” is all the same.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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