Sanitizers, germicides etc. and porous surfaces. Is there any benefit?!

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Could somebody please demystify for me the use, claims and actual performance (what does it actually accomplish) regarding sanitizers, germicides etc. and porous surfaces like carpet & upholstery.

I am very familiar with the legal claim of sanitizing and understand that these claims cannot be made with porous surfaces -
["To be a registered sanitizer, the test results for a product must show a reduction of at least 99.9% in the number of each test microorganism over the parallel control."]

However when reading these sanitizers labels they only seem to mention the use on nonporous surfaces.
  1. So do they actually work on carpet and upholstery?
  2. What do they actually accomplish?
  3. Do they all need to be rinsed out and the ones that don’t, any residual issues or problem with people having a reaction (skin irritation or other etc.) to them?
  4. And yes, you guessed it- What is allowed to use in CA?
And any other information about them that can help.
 
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I think very much can be accomplished and well, more can be claimed. :shifty:

The real issue is what is legit and to what length is EPA registered needed. Many products will do what you want but have not gone through the expense of EPA registration.

What are you wanting it for use on?
 
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Carpet and upholstery and considering that they are porous, what will it actually do.
The legal claim of "sanitizing" can not be made (a reduction of at least 99.9% ), any rough idea what percentage of it should be expected. Yes I am very well aware that there are variables (thickness, filling material etc)
How long does it make sense to leave on fiber?
Is wicking (due to longer exposure) an issue?

Anything related. Just trying to understand it better.
 
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As you have seen most labels simply state hard surface use. No mention of soft goods. For hard surface 10-15 minutes. The question would be "how much"?

My biggest caution would not to state you "sanitized" or "disinfected" anything. You "Applied" it.

What is the need? What why are you applying it in the first place?

When efficacy is in question I'm one to error on the side of caution. We recommend replacement on cat 3 carpet.

When timing doesn't allow that, we will rinse with the product but still require a signed Refusal of Recommendations.
 
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The most common needs (in my opinion, not always necessary, but people request it) are:
  1. Some fabric that has mold/mildew where I do not know how much in filling material.
  2. Heavy throw up on carpet or upholstery potentially when the person had a flue.
  3. And sometime, just for their "healthy" feeling, they want carpet or upholstery sanitized.

As you know me fairly well, I do not make "sanitizing" claims, I also make it abundantly clear what can be expected and always get their consent and signature. So this is more for me to have a better understanding of the subject and what it will actually do.
 
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1. Chances are the true source of odor is far deeper than surface. I'd have real concerns about efficacy in that situation. If you kill the spores causing odor, the dead spores can still be allergenic.

2. I'd use enzymes to digest the bacteria, soaking it enough to penetrate as much as the contaminate.

3. Light spray, of sanitizer, no soaking needed.

If you run across this often, you might consider an ATP meter. You can swab the affected area and develope a level of comfort for both you and the client.
 
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Microban Sanitizer instructions for Carpet sanitizing.
Note the instructions specifically for carpet:
https://www.prorestoreproducts.com/Uploads/Document/1139/MicrobanCCSLabel.pdf

We use a "sterilizing agent" in our microbial deodorant, but make no claims for killing microbes.
That product is not available in California. Ofer lives in California. :oldrolleyes:

Why would one want to deodorize microbes??
If it doesn't kill microbes, how does it sterilize???

I believe this is Ofer's whole point of the thread. Vague statements that are definitive about very little. :headscratch:
 
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Per the EPA, "Unlike most other types of product labels, pesticide labels are legally enforceable, and all of them carry the statement: “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” In other words, the label is the law."

Sanitizers, disinfectants, sterilizers all are legally classified as "pesticides", and are regulated as such under FIFRA.

Any of these products must first be "legal" to use within the state. As of this moment, there are but a few that are legal (meaning state registered) for use in California, for porous surfaces. I don't endorse it, but a product called "Steri Fab", is one of those products. Steri Fab is a product, with labeling that indicates efficacy for use on carpet, for the "control" of odor causing organisms on carpet. The carefully crafted wording on the product labeling is VERY important. One must not even insinuate to a customer that your action and use of this, or any product makes any claim beyond the product labeling. So, can you tell your customer that you are "sanitizing" or "Disinfecting" his/her carpet? The short answer is, "maybe", but I wouldn't.

Seriously, Steri Fab is such an interesting example. In my honest opinion, I can't readily understand how this one product actually became approved in California. IMHO, the label itself, which EPA, and Cal EPA consider a legal document, is woefully confusing. The specific mention of it's use on carpet, is for nothing but odor control. However, any reasonably educated consumer can't help but be given a clear alternate impression, by many other statements on the label, that pretty clearly insinuate a far more diverse efficacy. I have come to the opinion that many other products on the market, with far more effective chemistry would be just as, or more effective for all of Steri Fab's claims, but simply are not "approved", Federally or by the State of California.....for whatever reason. Some products are simply not approved, because the manufacturer has not spent what might be an enormous amount of money to do so. Therefore, it is simply a financial ROI matter for them. And too bad, for us.

Ofer, so to address your question.... whether, in general, do disinfectants, or like products, have efficacy for carpet and other porous surfaces....yes they do. However the extent that they meet both practical and legal thresholds will vary considerably. Even more frustrating, is that in many cases you really can't tell. Now, if we use Larry's example... The ProRestore CCS, is one that has legal and practical efficacy, that varies from state to state. It is Federally approved product, so we know that it meets Federal standards, and it's label claims are approved Federally. So, while we might surmise it is a effective product (for what it claims), we can only use it local-geographically where it is also "doubly" approved.

Another intersting twist is this...There also exists a gray area legal loophole that some suppliers/manufacturers use. They sell a product, like CCS, but label it strictly as a commonplace carpet deodorizer. Chemically it might be identical to the product sold elsewhere as a "pesticide", but by virtue of the fact that it isn't labeled as a pesticide, and only a deodorizer, it is 50-State perfectly legal. So, while you can't make any claims, you can then legally buy and apply the product. An example of this would be.. (I don't want to say, because the company that makes it, might get angry with me, if I mention it).

The bottom line, Ofer, is that there is value in applying some disinfectants/sanitizers to carpet and other porous surfaces....but, each product and situation is a case-by-case basis, and nearly impossible to evaluate on any perspective but anecdotal odor control. And even then, you would have to find a product that is legal to buy and use, per the label instruction and claim you make to your customer. Not withstanding, the approved products, like Steri Fab.

I want to make clear, I DO NOT endorse Steri-Fab for wide-spread application on carpet. The product is flammable. Yes, I said the product is FLAMMABLE. Just imagine the practical ramifications of mass dispersal on a wide area of a considerable volume of the product. Whoa! But it is perfectly legal to do so, in California. Go figure.


Take care.
 
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Say you soak a cotton towle in Bobcat urine, let dry then apply a product that after an hour's exposure completely removes the stain and the odor.

Would you considerather that "sanitized"?

I have a beta product in my hands right now that will do just that.


Only a water rinse needed after the science has happened.
 
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Say you soak a cotton towle in Bobcat urine, let dry then apply a product that after an hour's exposure completely removes the stain and the odor.

Would you considerather that "sanitized"?

I have a beta product in my hands right now that will do just that.


Only a water rinse needed after the science has happened.
Mikey technically it may not be. But realistically in the instance you just described it will have destroyed the source of contamination (I am going to presume by oxidation and reduction - REDOX) and in so doing nothing will be viable in the treatment zone afterward.

The thing is.... "Is it sanitised / sterilized" in the sense it is absolutely - entirely and completely free of biomass?

You could never know. Nobody could.
 
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Thank you Shawn. As always both helpful and informative.

In the past when the issue has been raised when clients wanted it done, the following was my response. It almost always made them choose not to "sanitize", which was fine with me. It is also, in my opinion accurate and does not mislead them. My response is in black below.


However and the reason for this thread, is that I wanted to see what I can offer and what can be improved, regarding the "sanitized" condition of the carpet.
Trying to remove the legal claim aspect of it from this discussion. So no guarantees and claims are being made. The question is: By applying a sanitizer, what approximate improvements are to be expected?


This is my response to clients:
Dear.....
Regarding ‘Sanitizing’ your carpet. I just wanted to be clear about what can and cannot be accomplished by ‘sanitizing’. According to US EPA, there are three classes of antimicrobials Sanitizers, Disinfectants and Sterilizers.

SANITIZER:
One of three groups of antimicrobials registered by EPA for public health uses. EPA considers an anti-microbial to be a sanitizer when it reduces but does not necessarily eliminate all the microorganisms on a treated surface. To be a registered sanitizer, the test results for a product must show a reduction of at least 99.9% in the number of each test microorganism over the parallel control. Sanitization requires the level of reduction to be demonstrated when used exactly as instructed.

In addition, no product that we know of will neither claim nor accomplish the above definition on any porous surface, including carpet. And none that we know of is approved in California.

Will it reduce the level of microorganism? Yes.

By how much? With porous fabrics, nobody knows exactly, so I guess the answer will be- Quite a bit but definitely not by 99.9%.


Please let me know if you have any questions.
Sincerely
Ofer
Expert Clean & Green
 
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Will it reduce the level of microorganism? Yes.
Good Letter, Ofer. However, I would change the word "yes", to something like; "maybe", "possibly".

As well, do not indicate in writing that you are applying or using a non-approved sanitizer, or any other sanitizer for a non-approved purpose. If you do, you are documenting and admitting that you are using a product inconsistent with its labeling. If ever a customer were unsatisfied with your "treatment", the best you could ever hope for is that he/she wouldn't pay your bill.

Would worse happen? Who knows? It depends on whether the customer knows the law, and/or consults an attorney. The odds are in your favor, but that's it.
 
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Not only that I never make any claims, I also make it clear in writing and have them sign it + a long release of liability as well.

The only product I've used was "Benefect", again with no claims. The only problem with Benefect is that it makes the whole place smell like an Italian restaurant and takes close to forever for the smell to go away.
 
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Not only that I never make any claims, I also make it clear in writing and have them sign it + a long release of liability as well.

The only product I've used was "Benefect", again with no claims. The only problem with Benefect is that it makes the whole place like an Italian restaurant and takes close to forever for the smell to go away.
That begs the question is there a need for claims?

We sell lots of deodorizing products, never with such a extensive explanation.

Not even our WDR client info sheets. We supply an msds and an chem sensitivity sign off the apply if they give the authorization to proceed.
 
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We only suggest that we may improve the situation. We explain to the customer the multiple layers of the problem( the carpet, underlay, the floor beneath) and even in situations where we seal the floor, replace the underlay and clean both sides of the carpet, we offer no guarantee. Especially when they still have animals in the house. At best, we can help to improve the problem but we can't guarantee to eliminate it. Most people understand and we don't work for the ones who don't
 
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Right, Richard.
First I am not talking about deodorizing here.

And, as far as I am concerned, there's no need for claims.

It does help however if I know what it can actually do for the client, beside the psychological benefit. Otherwise I feel like I can't really inform them, nor honestly know that I am providing them with something that is actually beneficial.
 

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