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View Full Version : Are There Alternatives to Disinfecting with Bleach/Water?


Pam Meier
02-07-2008, 08:44 AM
I live in Iowa and years ago as a preschool director, we used the bleach & water solution to disinfect. Now as a kindergarten teacher, the pre-k teacher and I both find our school's cleaning products and the bleach and water solutions to be irritating to asthma and to students. I'm just wondering what the requirements are for licensed sites-both daycare and preschools? Because of my chronic respiratory illnesses, I have started to use non-toxic products in my home and classroom. If anyone would like to hear more about the products, I'd love to talk to you!:)

Michael
02-07-2008, 12:58 PM
Iowa Cleaning and Sanitizing Requirements:
http://www.daycare.com/iowa/iowa_cleaning_requirements.html

Wet the entire changing surface with the sanitizing solution (e.g. spray a sanitizing bleach solution of 1/4 cup of household liquid chlorinebleach in one gallon of tap water, mixed fresh daily). Put away the spray bottle of sanitizer. If the recommended bleach dilution is sprayed as a sanitizer on the surface, leave it in contact with the surface for at least 2 minutes. The surface can be left to air dry or can be wiped dry after 2 minutes of contact with the bleach solution.

Seemingly minor requirements can create complexities for programs. In states where school-based afterschool programs must be licensed, schools sometimes face conflicting requirements. For example, in some jurisdictions, schools are required to use one type of bleach to clean classrooms under education regulations and another type of bleach to clean classrooms underchild care regulations.

Also, Clorox is starting a "green" products line. It should be interesting to see what they advance toward both health and green in the childcare environment. They do not pay advertise with us but here is a link.
http://www.clorox.com/healthier_lives/new_moms/

learnwithtoys
03-03-2008, 11:38 AM
We are allowed to use Quatinery Ammonia(spelling?). It is found at custodial supply stores and doesn't bleach children's clothes or toys.

Michael
03-05-2008, 12:08 AM
That would be Quaternary Ammonia.

A manufacturer of quaternary ammonia products (“quats”) was contacted and indicated that a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonia with a contact time of ten minutes was recommended for sanitizing. Some quaternary ammonia products require a longer contact time to sanitize. A 100 ppm chlorine solution requires a two minute contact time to sanitize a surface. The manufacturer also recommended a 400 ppm quaternary ammonia solution for disinfecting diapering surfaces. However Child Care Sanitation rules only requires sanitizing.

The lengthy contact time needed for a quaternary ammonia solution to sanitize a diaper changing surface makes it’s use impractical because of the numerous diapering events that may occur in a room full of infants. Therefore, a quaternary ammonia solution is not considered an “equivalent method” to a chlorine solution for sanitizing. Finally, chlorine is widely available and is an economical product.

Unregistered
03-19-2008, 02:42 PM
We use a product called ODO Ban. We get it at Sam's Wholesale. It kills as effectively as bleach water, is safe and approved by our state. It is very cheap and smells wonderful. We looked forever for an alternative product for toys and changing tables and this was recommended to me by a state health employee at a class I took. Good Luck!

Unregistered
05-13-2008, 04:47 PM
I live in Iowa and years ago as a preschool director, we used the bleach & water solution to disinfect. Now as a kindergarten teacher, the pre-k teacher and I both find our school's cleaning products and the bleach and water solutions to be irritating to asthma and to students. I'm just wondering what the requirements are for licensed sites-both daycare and preschools? Because of my chronic respiratory illnesses, I have started to use non-toxic products in my home and classroom. If anyone would like to hear more about the products, I'd love to talk to you!:)



Pam,
I work at a preschool and need bleach alternatives for a pregnant teacher to use to disinfect.

DinTx
06-02-2008, 12:28 PM
Daycare homes and centers in Tx are allowing to use Hospital Grade Disinfectant alternatively.

Lysol Disinfectant that claims on the label to kill 99.9% of germs in 60 seconds is HG, but doesn't specify "HG" on the label. It has an EPA number. Note that some Lysol products are NOT HG.

Here are a few questions I posed to the EPA on this topic, and their responses:

1- Are the terms germicide and disinfectant synonymous?
No... A disinfectant may be limited (gram positive or negative), broad spectrum (gram positive and negative), or hospital grade (gram positive, gram negative, and pseudomonas) whereas a germicide can be equivalent to a hospital grade disinfectant.

2- Is bleach considered a hospital grade germicide? Is it safe on eating utensils, toys, crib rails; after drying? Which would be considered safer- a low-grade disinfectant like Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant or diluted bleach?
The Agency does not allow use of the term "safe" on pesticide products*. If you wanted to check the toxicity of each product, you would have to supply the registration number(s) for comparison. As for bleach, it is used on eating utensils for warewashing in food handling establishments after rinsing and drying.
*Note: Disinfectants are considered Pesticides and the EPA recommends that children and elderly have little to no contact with them. The negative health effects to those populations are excellerated exponentially.

3- Is it true that in order to be classified as a HGD (disinfectant) a product must only be proven to kill these 3 germs: Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ?
Yes....

4- You mentioned that Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant met the criteria for a HGG, even though they do not make that claim on the label? Can you briefly explain why that is sometimes the case?
Pesticide products are permitted to "split" their labeling... This means that there is a "Master Label" on file with the Agency that has all of the permitted use sites and pests. At any time, the registrant may market to a target audience and drop other uses off the labeling. For example, if you have a hospital grade disinfectant that also has home uses, the registrant may sell 2 products under the same registration number with different label claims. One would be sold to hospitals, the other to homewoners.

Another HG Disinfectant option is Melaluca's Sol-U-Guard. I now use this.

So there are at least two options to bleach, Lysol (the one with an EPA number) and Sol-U-Guard.

If your licensing rep attempts to cite you for using one of these alternatives, show him/her the EPA number on the label.

Pamela
10-01-2008, 09:24 AM
Hi everyone, I work with a few daycares here in Canada and I have them using a new natural disinfectant approved by the EPA for use in hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, daycares etc.. We have changed all the daycares over to safer, healthier non caustic products. As a result they are actually saving money and their health !

If you would like more information on the products please contact me phenley@cogeco.ca

Unregistered
10-15-2008, 04:00 PM
I know that the childcare facility where I work they use Steramine tablets dissolved in a gallon of water. It is what restaurants use to steralize tables, chairs, and dishes. It's safe to use on toys and for the children to put into their mouths. With a one minute contact time, it is supposed to kill everything including the MRSA virus. I have contacted the company and spoken with the chemists there. I also talked to our licensing agency in Pennsylvania and they said it was fine. I recommend it!!

CAT Association
09-04-2009, 06:49 AM
As humans we need 2 major things to stay alive, at any age. FOOD (water included) and AIR. We can have all the Food to eat ,but if we do not have Air. We know what the outcome to that is and one without the other. Now add Pesticides and dangerous chemicals to both. I believe we are trouble.

EPA reports indoor Air quality is a growing concern, and indoor AIR is 5 to 10 times more toxic that outdoors. Due to chemicals in our environment and poor ventilation. Unfortunely we are are assaulted today by both, and we question health reform. Good news is we can Change both. Open up your eyes and ears Americans, land of the you will get sick at your own choices.

But why do we refuse to protect children, our own and the ones we care for at a level of selfishness. It's called Change. People don't like CHANGE" cause it might cost a little more, or it might involve a little more work, the most common remark" why change if this works. Why you might ask? Because its nescessary, children are sick, and the worst is this. We will not even try. We are so programed by society.
Providers google Bleach and all product you use, read MSDS sheets, this is a legal document with real facts.. Dont wonder why your childcare children get sick, its all over the news, magazines, and talk shows, Pesticides and dangerous chemicals are here and REAl. Ever wonder why hospital are almost at every corner, just like a qwik Store. Because they know the satatics, people are going to be sick young and old and they are ready for us.

I encourage you to protect your children, it does'nt cost more than what you spent today, it doesn't involve more work, and what we are doing today is not making a great impact on thier health.

Imagine no more sick children, healthier staff and happy parents. A SICK child has a domino reaction to everything in thier Life. Remember this: If it's EPA approved to be a disinfectant that kills germs and it has a MSDS sheet, and is non toxic, look for it and use it.

Your State Licensing needs to have a educational class on EPA approved non toxic products available currently to provide Child care Providers with all means to Protect the CHILDREN. The last time I check that is why they exist. They are doing a good job, but its a SIGH OF THE TIMES, children depend on them to protect them and the wheels have stopped turning. Get with the Program. If you don't have one, I do, for all.

For more information on how you can make the Change, email me at txcatinthehouse@yahoo.com website coming soon.
Networking for Healthy Childcare. Thank you

Unregistered
09-23-2009, 12:09 PM
Steramine Tablets only have 2 Kill claims, while Steramine packets offered by Ozark River have 35 kill claims. It comes in a 1 oz. liquid packet that is mixed with 4 gallons of water. This mixing methods ensures that everything is mixed, and the solution can be used until gone.
You can purchase this online at www.Ozarkriver.com.

ZONO
04-16-2010, 11:20 AM
Go to www.ozocleantechnology.com and look at the ZONO sanitizing system. It uses a new technology to sanitize toys, stuffed animals, mats, all of the items that are difficult to sanitize in daycares! It is energy and labor efficient sanitizing. It is just now being introduced in metro-Atlanta and is in two daycares and they love it. The system is also in two sports arenas for hockey pads and lacrosse pads.

sahm2three
04-23-2010, 03:57 PM
I don't use bleach either. It is terrible for asthma and allergies, and your immune system in general. I use an all natural cleaning product called Thieves. It is completely green. It has been lab proven to kill black mold and MRSA. It is so safe you could drink it. If your state doesn't require bleach, I sure would try to find an alternative! :)

Unregistered
12-07-2010, 05:29 AM
There is a new generation of disinfectants based on an engineered molecule called Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, SDC. This molecule has been developed by Pure Bioscience in San Diego, CA. SDC combines an ion of elemental silver with citric acid. The citric acid acts as an attractive food source for microbes, bacteria, virus, mold, and fungus. When ingested by the microbes, the silver bonds to their DNA, preventing replication and accomplishing a 100% kill. Microbes can not become resistent to the SDC molecule.

IV-7 Ultimate Germ Defense is an EPA registered disinfectant - the first new disinfectant approved by EPA in over 30 years. It is a broad spectrum anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral disinfectant. It is also the only disinfectant approved by EPA to be rated as non-toxic. It has no odor - when used it will kill odors! It will not irritate your skin. A list of pathogens killed by IV-7 can be found at http://www.germkilleriv7.com/Library/DocumentViewer.cfm?DocKey=17

A special property of this disinfectant with SDC as the active ingredient is residual kill. EPA has awarded IV-7 a claim for residual kill for 24 hours. Conventional disinfectants work only while wet. Once they dry, they stop killing germs, but toxic chemicals remain behind. IV-7 with SDC when applied to a hard surface if allowed to dry - or even if wiped off - will continue to kill germs for a period of 24 hours. The impact of this property is huge. Bleach a toy and it becomes contaminated by the next child that handles it and say places it in his or her mouth. If disinfected with IV-7 the same toy will be killing germs - even after being handled by multiple children!

If you would like to learn more about SDC and IV-7 Ultimate Germ Defense, visit http://www.germkilleriv7.com - check out the information in my Library, including videos and audio I-Stories of IV-7 users. To order IV-7 go to http://www.reorderiv7.com and enter the reorder key 1.

Feel free to contact me at tim@germkilleriv7.com

Missani
12-09-2010, 09:39 PM
In MN we are required to use bleach. I tried to get out of it and provided many options of disinfecting cleaner, but I was told by my licensor that bleach is required as written in the rule and that many others have tried to get the requirement changed with no luck. Blech! It's the only chemical cleaner I have in my house now thanks to licensing.

LDZ
01-20-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm looking for an alternative disinfectant to bleach and water for my daughter's daycare and am overwhelmed by all the options! I just read about a product called Spectrasan 24 that is supposed to be less toxic but it isn't green seal certified... has anyone heard of it? Someone also recommended Alpha HP but I can't find a product label online to check toxicity... Help! Sol-u-guard does not have a fast enough kill time to meet state requirements.

Lucy
01-20-2011, 09:28 PM
When mixed with water and used as a cleaning solution, the bleach is so diluted that it doesn't even smell like bleach. Does it really bother people with asthma? My dad has had severe asthma all his life and I have used it when my parents visit from out of state, and he's never had a problem. Not criticizing, just asking.

Abigail
01-20-2011, 11:01 PM
I have asthma and bleach doesn't bother me. I handle is with care and store it up high in the cupboard. I have a squirt bottle from Target's dollar section and it's green. I wrote BLEACH in permanent marker across it to make sure we don't use it from anything but bleach solutions. I'm always wondering what else is out there, but personally would be fine with using the water/bleach solution. It just is more time consuming for mixing it daily and I never even use the ONE cup I make everytime I need to use it.

I found out recently that we're allowed (through our county) to use PureGreen24 which is 100% safe around children and pets and doesn't have a smell and doesn't require mixing. You can go to http://www.puregreen24.com/ for more information. It's more spendy, but I still might give it a try and have some on hand anyways.

ZONO
01-23-2014, 07:51 AM
"This revolutionizes the way we sanitize. We are now able to sanitizie and any and all items our children use without liquid chemicals. The ZONO demonstrates to our parents our commitment to green and cutting edge technology to reduce exposure to germs and chemicals"

Livonia Mi

Unregistered
01-23-2014, 08:33 AM
My sister is a nurse practitioner and is constantly pushing the plain vinegar and water as a disinfectant. It's what they use in her practice and what she uses in her home.

BrooklynM
01-23-2014, 09:07 AM
I have asthma and bleach doesn't bother me. I handle is with care and store it up high in the cupboard. I have a squirt bottle from Target's dollar section and it's green. I wrote BLEACH in permanent marker across it to make sure we don't use it from anything but bleach solutions. I'm always wondering what else is out there, but personally would be fine with using the water/bleach solution. It just is more time consuming for mixing it daily and I never even use the ONE cup I make everytime I need to use it.

I found out recently that we're allowed (through our county) to use PureGreen24 which is 100% safe around children and pets and doesn't have a smell and doesn't require mixing. You can go to http://www.puregreen24.com/ for more information. It's more spendy, but I still might give it a try and have some on hand anyways.


I use PureGreen24 and I LOVE it! I highly recommend it. Zero smell it is very safe. My inspector said he wished everyone would use it. It is EPA approved. Is it more expensive? Sure, but women who work in the home are at a 54% higher risk of developing cancer due to being around cleaning products. A little bit of it goes along ways. For a lot of my toys I run them through the dishwasher, so I only use this on my changing table and any toys that I cannot put through the dishwasher during my weekly disinfecting. I disinfect once a week unless the toy goes in the mouth, and then I have a germ bin that it goes into right away and I either just leave them there until the end of the week or disinfect it that day.

I also recommend a steam mop for cleaning floors, tiles, my playhouse, window sills, etc.

I am very sensitive to cleaning products. Harsh chemicals instantly start burning my throat and make me feel sick, so I've gone to great lengths to find alternatives. I use a lot of baking soda and vinegar too!

BrooklynM
01-23-2014, 09:17 AM
In MN we are required to use bleach. I tried to get out of it and provided many options of disinfecting cleaner, but I was told by my licensor that bleach is required as written in the rule and that many others have tried to get the requirement changed with no luck. Blech! It's the only chemical cleaner I have in my house now thanks to licensing.

What county in MN are you in? Last year there were some changes in MN that allow you to fill out a form to use an EPA approved disinfectant. It's called an Alternate Bleach disinfectant form. Google it. It sounds like you will now have some alternatives! YAY! happyface

SunshineMama
01-23-2014, 09:22 AM
I use a solution of white vinegar, water, and essential oils. I am unlicensed, however. I'm sure regs wouldn't allow for it, although it naturally and effectively kills germs.

Jennie M. Martin
07-18-2014, 12:23 AM
I think you can also use Hydrogen Peroxide. I know Hydrogen Peroxide possibly not the best Alternative to Disinfecting because it can cause burns at high concentration. But the Environmental Protection Agency, yet, recognizes hydrogen peroxide as a useful disinfectant because it promptly breaks down in the environment to plain oxygen and water. It also says hydrogen peroxide does not pose a health threat to humans when used according to label directions. Also you can use Vinegar as a disinfectant. 1⁄2-cup white vinegar with warm water in 4 cup baking soda works as a good disinfectant.

Unregistered
07-20-2014, 03:51 AM
My state allows Clorax wipes as an alternative to bleach. I'm sure it has plenty of chemicals, but I much prefer it to dealing with bleach. I hate bleach. Especially having to mix it up each day.

AmyKidsCo
07-21-2014, 08:11 PM
WI allows Quaternary Ammonia solution - I use Shaklee Basic-G. I've heard of a center in WI that uses Melaleuca Sol-U-Guard, but haven't found the documentation that it's allowed.

cswayze
09-24-2014, 11:56 AM
Daycare homes and centers in Tx are allowing to use Hospital Grade Disinfectant alternatively.

Lysol Disinfectant that claims on the label to kill 99.9% of germs in 60 seconds is HG, but doesn't specify "HG" on the label. It has an EPA number. Note that some Lysol products are NOT HG.

Here are a few questions I posed to the EPA on this topic, and their responses:

1- Are the terms germicide and disinfectant synonymous?
No... A disinfectant may be limited (gram positive or negative), broad spectrum (gram positive and negative), or hospital grade (gram positive, gram negative, and pseudomonas) whereas a germicide can be equivalent to a hospital grade disinfectant.

2- Is bleach considered a hospital grade germicide? Is it safe on eating utensils, toys, crib rails; after drying? Which would be considered safer- a low-grade disinfectant like Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant or diluted bleach?
The Agency does not allow use of the term "safe" on pesticide products*. If you wanted to check the toxicity of each product, you would have to supply the registration number(s) for comparison. As for bleach, it is used on eating utensils for warewashing in food handling establishments after rinsing and drying.
*Note: Disinfectants are considered Pesticides and the EPA recommends that children and elderly have little to no contact with them. The negative health effects to those populations are excellerated exponentially.

3- Is it true that in order to be classified as a HGD (disinfectant) a product must only be proven to kill these 3 germs: Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ?
Yes....

4- You mentioned that Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant met the criteria for a HGG, even though they do not make that claim on the label? Can you briefly explain why that is sometimes the case?
Pesticide products are permitted to "split" their labeling... This means that there is a "Master Label" on file with the Agency that has all of the permitted use sites and pests. At any time, the registrant may market to a target audience and drop other uses off the labeling. For example, if you have a hospital grade disinfectant that also has home uses, the registrant may sell 2 products under the same registration number with different label claims. One would be sold to hospitals, the other to homewoners.

Another HG Disinfectant option is Melaluca's Sol-U-Guard. I now use this.

So there are at least two options to bleach, Lysol (the one with an EPA number) and Sol-U-Guard.

If your licensing rep attempts to cite you for using one of these alternatives, show him/her the EPA number on the label.

Where are you getting the information that Sol-U-Guard is hospital grade? I just spoke with one of their customer service representative and she said it is NOT approved for use in a hospital, only for use in a home.

We've been using the Seventh Generation Multi-Surface Disinfecting Cleaner for the last two years because it has an EPA number. However, my licensing representative is telling me because it does not have the hospital use statement on the bottle it is not approved to use. I'm looking into using PureGreen24 right now but would love any other suggestions. We are adamant that our centers do not use bleach!

Here are the TX State standards for reference: "A commercial product that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an antimicrobial product and includes directions for use in a hospital as a disinfectant. You must use the product according to label directions. Commercial products must not be toxic on surfaces likely to be mouthed by
children."

Any ideas????? Thank you!

Blackcat31
09-24-2014, 12:01 PM
Where are you getting the information that Sol-U-Guard is hospital grade? I just spoke with one of their customer service representative and she said it is NOT approved for use in a hospital, only for use in a home.

We've been using the Seventh Generation Multi-Surface Disinfecting Cleaner for the last two years because it has an EPA number. However, my licensing representative is telling me because it does not have the hospital use statement on the bottle it is not approved to use. I'm looking into using PureGreen24 right now but would love any other suggestions. We are adamant that our centers do not use bleach!

Here are the TX State standards for reference: "A commercial product that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an antimicrobial product and includes directions for use in a hospital as a disinfectant. You must use the product according to label directions. Commercial products must not be toxic on surfaces likely to be mouthed by
children."

Any ideas????? Thank you!

The person you quoted posted that info in 2008, so I doubt they will be back to reply.

As for where the info came from, I can't help. I have never heard of that cleaner.

We do have several members from TX on the board though so I am sure one of them may have some suggestions for you.

You are welcome to start a new thread posting your issue.

Alos, welcome to the forum!! :)