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The Truth About Disinfectant Products and Their Labeling

It is important to remember that with disinfectants, as with all chemicals, following the directions on the label is extremely important. In today’s hectic world, we have become numb to labeling instructions and assume we understand proper usage, when in fact a closer review of the label may indicate we have not been using the product as specified by the label. All wipes are not created equal, and the terms cleaning, sanitizing, antimicrobial, and disinfecting are not synonymous.

Disinfectant labels are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as local state agencies and are considered federal documents. They must be adhered to for safe and proper use. The instructions on the label are important even for products that are considered “Household” products.

Many gym patrons often ask for the “Antibacterial/Antimicrobial” or “Disinfectant” wipes and/or sprays, but do they really understand what they are requesting? The club owners and employees must take note of a couple of important items before providing this type of item for general use:

1. Do you have the right product for the application? One of the biggest misconceptions is that generic “sanitizer” products are used for both surfaces for one’s hands. This is the furthest from the truth! Hard surface disinfectants and sanitizers are labeled for hard non-porous surfaces, and hand sanitizers found in gels and/or wipes labeled for skin only. Take note of the intended use!

2. Is the disinfectant label available and visible for the general public? If not, the public cannot follow the proper instructions and opens the club owner to potential liability.

3. If this last item is met, kudos to the club owner, but are the patrons actually using the product as instructed? If the surface is not thoroughly wet for the specified time (often 5-10 minutes surface contact time), the patron is essentially using a cleaner and deodorizer product with limited disinfectant efficacy.

4. Lastly, the club owner needs to consider the effect the chemicals have with repeated use by every user in the facility. The disinfectant chemicals can often be aggressive to the equipment, due to its potent chemistry, thus a less harsh daily use cleaner/deodorizer product is recommended for the club patrons.

For maximum results, the proper use for disinfectant products in a gym or wellness facility is during off-peak or low traffic periods. Ideally, the disinfection should be performed by trained employees to ensure specific labeling can be followed properly and effectively. Members should be given access to general purpose cleaners so they may clean as they go. Club owners and facility managers should implement separate protocols with regard to cleaners and disinfectants, as these two types of products are not synonymous. They should take steps to make sure that their staff and patrons are using the correct product for the job, in a manner that will be safe and effective. When in doubt, always consult the manufacturers of the disinfectants. The manufacturer is the best source of information and guidance on how to use their products effectively.

Athletix Products’ recently improved Athletix™ Disinfectant Wipes are a quick and convenient way for your employees to disinfect surfaces in your health club or gym. The presaturated wipes are alcohol-free, bleach-free, and ammonia-free, making them safe for use on most surfaces found in fitness facilities. The durable, disposable wipes feature an EPA-registered chemistry that kills MRSA and is effective against many common bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and E. coli. when properly used. Athletix Disinfectant Wipes provide even solution application in one easy step and has a realistic 5-minute surface contact time.

Athletix Products™ provide innovative cleaning and disinfecting solutions to health clubs. Backed by Contec’s 25+ years of experience, Athletix Products provide a safe and affordable way to maintain equipment and keep facilities clean, healthy, and profitable. Our products are safe for use on both heavy-duty and delicate exercise equipment.

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