What is dwell time? It’s a term you might have come across in cleaning, but oftentimes, dwell time is overlooked. Dwell time is an important step in the disinfecting process. It’s the amount of time a disinfectant must sit on a surface in order to effectively kill germs and bacteria. Usually, that’s about 10 minutes, but since dwell time differs from product to product, it’s important to read the use instructions before beginning to clean.
If cleaning staff spray a disinfectant and immediately wipe it off, that disinfectant won’t work. It needs to sit or “dwell” in order to kill anything living on that surface. In fast-paced environments where cleaning needs to be done in a short amount of time, dwell time often isn’t met. The easiest way to make it happen is to clean any dirt and debris off surfaces and spray them before you move to other cleaning tasks. For example, you can spray a toilet with disinfectant and let it sit while you clean the floor. Setting a timer also helps let you know when you’ve met the ideal dwell time.
The key with dwell time is to always read the label of the solution you’re using. Even if you’ve used it before, it doesn’t hurt to double check. You never know when a manufacturer might change the recommendations or modify solutions in a way that could impact dwell time.
Cleanlink.com: Proper Dwell Time a Must in Restrooms
Cintas.com: Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: Cintas Issues Best Practices for Proper Restroom Cleaning