Seventh Generation's Disinfecting Guide for Cold & Flu Season

When the thermostat drops, cold and flu germs are perfectly poised to move in on you and your family, wrecking havoc in the form of sneezes, sniffles, and body aches. Preventative measures such as getting the flu shot and helping bolster your immune system are good measure to help prevent an illness. A good disinfecting program can also help prevent cold and flu germs* from spreading.

Understand the disinfecting basics.

Did you know it’s important to read the instructions for use on disinfectant products to make sure you are using them effectively? Does it need to be diluted first? Do you know if you need to saturate the surface for it to work? Should you pre-clean a heavily soiled surface and re-apply the disinfectant? (Hint: yes).  Does it need to sit there for a certain amount of time? Should it air-dry, or do you need to wipe or rinse it off? Many disinfecting products require rinsing after use. Should you really be spraying that disinfectant into the air throughout a room to kill germs? (Hint: no.)

What about Seventh Generation disinfecting products?

Seventh Generation is committed to ingredient disclosure so you’ll always find a list of ingredients right on our packaging. The same holds true with our complete line of disinfecting products. Our full family of botanical disinfecting products feature  a unique CleanWell® proprietary disinfecting technology, with thymol as the active antimicrobial ingredient. Along with the active ingredient, we also list the other ingredients in our formulas, including the fragrance ingredients, right on the label.

Our botanical disinfectants kill 99.99 percent of household germs. Plus, there is no rinse required, even on food contact surfaces.

*Specifically, our Disinfectant Sprays and Disinfecting Cleaners kill Influenza A virus, H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli on hard non-porous surfaces. Our Disinfecting Wipes kill Influenza A virus, H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37, Methicilin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on hard non-porous surfaces.

Choose the best disinfecting product for the job.

From Disinfectant Spray to convenient Disinfecting Wipes, all of our disinfecting products feature the same CleanWell® technology to get the job done, but some products may make tackling certain areas easier than others. With all  our disinfecting products, to disinfect, simply wet the surface with the wipe or sprayer, leave visibly wet for least 10 minutes, and let air dry (make sure to pre-clean heavily soiled surfaces). That’s it—no additional wiping, washing, or rinsing, even when you’re using our disinfectants on food contact surfaces. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ways to use the different products in our botanical disinfectant family:

When to use a disinfectant spray:

One of our newest products, Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray comes in three different scents and disinfects and deodorizes hard, non-porous surfaces.

  • Because it disinfects and eliminates odors, it’s a great option for any object that needs a little freshening up—garbage cans, diaper pails, hard surfaces in your nursery, or pet areas.
  • Take advantage of the spray applicator to really get down into the nooks and crannies of places like your child’s highchair (Hit the changing table while you’re at it.)
  • A disinfectant spray can be easier to use than a disinfecting wipe when it comes to awkwardly shaped hard, non-porous toys (Legos or other building blocks).
  • Like our Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, our Disinfectant Spray is also a good option for the cabinet pulls in your kitchen, door handles, bathroom surfaces—anywhere household germs or unpleasant odors may be a problem.
  • Choose from our three different scents: Fresh Citrus & Thyme Scent, Lavender Vanilla & Thyme Scent, and Eucalyptus, Spearmint, & Thyme Scent—they all get the job done.

When to use a disinfecting wipe:

Disinfecting Wipes are great to use on any hard, nonporous surface, and are perfect for on-the-go use. Keep them on hand for the following:

  • To give countertops and food-prep surfaces a wipe (more household germs lurk in your kitchen than in your bathroom, according to a study by Charles River Laboratories).
  • To clean floors, garbage cans, and appliances. Pay special attention to your coffee reservoir; it’s a top contender for germiest item in your kitchen.
  • On hard, non-porous baby/toddler items, like changing tables, highchairs, cribs, or toys.
  • On objects that spent the day at school: pencil cases, lunchboxes, stray art projects— and other hard, non-porous school items where household germs can linger.
  • Around your house: It’s easy to give door knobs, toilet handles, desks or other household germ hotspots a wipe.
  • On the go: According to research from Queen Mary University of London, your steering wheel and gear-shift lever,  can contain more germs that a public toilet seat. Wipe down these surfaces, And yes—wipe down the shopping-cart handle too, to help kill 99.99% of household germs.

When to use a Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner:

You can use Seventh Generation’s Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner anywhere you’d use a disinfecting wipe— and it can be used to clean with your own clean cloth or paper towel. (Another bonus: you can really saturate an object when using a sprayer.)

  • Your kitchen is a prime candidate for a disinfecting spray cleaner, as it’s easy to clean crumbs, sticky spots, or dull stainless-steel appliances with a sprayer and cloth. Plus, it will disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces like cutting boards and countertops, which are places where household germs can linger.
  • On your garbage cans—our Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner is a deodorizer, too.

When to use disinfecting bathroom cleaner:

With a foaming spray-head nozzle, Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner comes in handy for bathroom cleaning and disinfecting jobs—and, like the Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, you can saturate a surface to disinfect it after cleaning.

  • Use Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner on toilet seats, sinks and vanities.
  • You can also disinfect bathtubs and showers with our Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner. Be sure to target the areas where water collects, as warm, moist environments are breeding grounds for household germs.
  • As with our Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, you can use Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner to clean and disinfect.

Helping prevent the spread of cold and flu germs* is an important job and we hope we can help make it a little easier for you and family.