cleaning chemical labels

Do You Read Chemical Labels?

Have you ever actually read the cleaning chemical labels? I always find it interesting to ask people about their cleaning procedures. In health care, offices, schools and even in their homes, most people rely on what the front of the bottle says and not what is in the smaller print on the back.

In several meetings with clients, I had asked about their procedures for cleaning and disinfecting. Not one of them knew or was following the directions on the product label. To be honest, this didn’t surprise me at all.

After reading the label and learning about the procedures set by the E.P.A. and the manufacturer, most of them decided that their way was acceptable. Either they didn’t have time to allow a disinfectant the prescribed dwell time or it seemed to work better at a different dilution. Regardless of the reasoning, the choice to not follow the label instructions can have very dangerous results.

Find Out For Yourself

Here are a couple of examples of cleaning chemical labels, from common household chemicals. I would bet very few know about these.

Spray Disinfecting Cleaner Chemical Labels

Did you know that disinfectant and cleaner are actually two completely different uses for the same product? According to the label, you can CLEAN with this product, you can SANITIZE with this product or you can DISINFECT with this product.

You CANNOT do all with one big swipe of the cloth though. You must do one or the other. In the case of disinfecting, you must clean prior to applying the product as a disinfectant. Then you have to let it sit on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off.

I can’t say this for every brand of this type of product, but the 3 I looked at all said the same thing.

Bleach Chemical Labels

First and for most, read all the warnings that any bleach product has on its label. It’s a wonder that they can squeeze that many words on the bottle. There are at least 3 different dilutions you must have ready to go prior to cleaning and sanitizing just your kitchen.

1 table-spoon of bleach to a gallon of water for washing the baby’s bottles and your dishes. Then ¾ of a cup of bleach in a gallon for the trash can, sink and counter top. You will also need 3 table spoons mixed with a gallon of water to clean your wooden cutting boards, but only need the 1 table-spoon mixture for your plastic cutting boards.

Who does this? Mom always grabbed the spray bottle that had Bleach written in pen on the side. What was the mixture in that? Oh and you will need to clean all of these surfaces with water, prior to applying the bleach which will need to stand for 5 minutes prior to wiping off.

Window Cleaner Blue Chemical Labels

If you are familiar with the pH scale, you will know that 7 is neutral, 7.1 to 14 is alkaline and 6.9 to 0 is acidic. Good ole’ Blue Window Cleaner is 10.5 to 11. That is one notch lower than a good floor stripper, which is usually 12+.

These are just a few examples of what you can learn by turning the bottle around and learning how to properly use the products you pay good money for. Regardless of whether it is a green cleaning product or not.  If you are going to spend the money to by a disinfectant, then it should be used properly to disinfect. A cleaner should be used to clean the correct surfaces at the correct dilution. If you are not following the label, then you may as well use water.

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