Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between “cleaning,” “disinfecting” and “sanitizing”?
Cleaning, by definition, is simply removing germs, dirt, grease, and grime from a surface. Generally, this is done with simple soap and water and has no bearing on the killing of germs, bacteria, or viruses. It removes them and makes surfaces look good and “clean” to the naked eye. It is often the first step in the disinfection process.
Disinfecting uses specialized chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to kill germs, bacteria, or viruses on surfaces. Although disinfecting does not necessarily give the surface a “clean” look, it is highly effective in eradicating active germs to stop the spread of infection. Disinfectants are very carefully and deliberately created to treat certain bacteria and viruses, so they are rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. They have different kill spectrums, cure times, mixing instructions, and importantly, application directions, so be sure to read the label carefully when selecting and using a disinfectant. A disinfect is not effective if it is not used properly.
Sanitizing is simply lowering the number of germs on a surface to a safe level, as prescribed by public health authorities. It does not necessarily mean that the presence of germs is totally eradicated, but rather that they may not be numerous enough to cause immediate health concerns. Sanitization does not remove the threat posed by viruses and infectious diseases.
How long does a disinfectant kill microbes?
Disinfectants that have been registered with the EPA can be expected to kill or inactivate microbes listed on the approved label (kill sheet), in the number of minutes indicated on the label (cure time), when applied according to label directions (application directions). As soon as the disinfectant evaporates, the killing and inactivation stops, or at the moment of application. The purpose of a disinfectant is to kill or inactivate microbes on the initial application. Because of this, regular scheduled cleaning and disinfection is recommended.
Is there any way to protect a surface from accumulating microbes after disinfection?
One effective method is to apply a coating of a microbiostatic agent, or antimicrobial shield, that has been proven to prevent specific microbes from surviving on the coated surface for a period of time after its application. Like disinfectants, microbiostatic agents with any antimicrobial claims must be registered with the EPA. Aftermath Service’s Antimicrobial Shield is EPA registered for durable biostatic activity against a host of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and algae, when properly applied. Independent studies have also found that the ingredients in our antimicrobial shield are effective at inactivating enveloped viruses upon contact with the properly coated surface.
How does the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield work?
Antimicrobials are complex chemicals that have a chemistry that binds them to surfaces and chemistry that keeps microbes from growing and continuing to be viable. The effective action that destroys the microbe is physical, electrical, and chemical: it electrically attracts the microbe and it physically breaks the microbe open by piercing the lipid layer of the cell wall.
How is the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield applied to a surface?
Federal Law requires that the application of the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield (registered with the EPA) must be applied according to label directions for the surface being treated. For non-porous surfaces, the application of the Shield requires that the surface first be cleaned to remove grease, grime and gross surface contamination followed by disinfection with an EPA registered disinfectant. This prepares the surface to receive the Shield solution. After a period of a few minutes, the coating is dry and ready to prevent microbes from thriving on the surface for an extended period of time.
How long will the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield prevent microbes from growing or replicating on a surface?
The Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield’s EPA approved label indicates that it should be reapplied every three months to maximize effectiveness. The reason for reapplication is due to the fact that the invisible coating will eventually be shed through repeated touching.
Can the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield be used on fabric and porous surfaces?
Yes, Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield is suitable for application on the following:
- Mattress cover pads
- Filling and ticking
- Pillow covers
- Fiberfill for upholstery
- Recreational gear
- Quilts and pillows
- Carpet and carpet underlay
- Shower curtains
- Toilet tank and seat covers
- Wallcovering fabrics and wallpaper (including vinyl) for non-food contact surfaces
- Fire hose fabric
- Non-woven disposable diapers
- Wiping cloths
- Apparel including outerwear
- Gloves and uniforms
- Footwear (boots, shoes and components)
- Sports equipment and athletic gear
- Cloth for sails
- Tents and other outdoor equipment
- Book covers
Does the Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield damage the surface?
Aftermath Antimicrobial Shield dries clear and is safe for both porous and non-porous surfaces. The application is approximately 40 microns thick but dries to less than one micron in thickness. It is not labeled for use on food contact surfaces.