The Rise of Plant-Based Disinfectants

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When I started in this industry nearly 17 years ago, harsh chemicals were the only way to ensure that all the microbes, germs, and bacteria were entirely irradicated. So many things have changed in this industry since then, but my favorite change is plant-based products.

Before Plant-Based Products

Fifteen years ago, if you walked into a home with sewerage or mold, I could guarantee that near the end of completing the clean up you would don a Tyvek suit and a full-face respirator. Explain to the homeowner they had to leave their home for our company to apply a chemical that would kill any remaining germs and microbes in their home. Over the years, I have had homeowners hesitant to allow us to spray these products in their homes. Worried about their pets, children, and themselves being around after it was applied created quite a bit of pushback.

The Introduction of Benefect

About 20 years ago, a product promising to be less toxic than vinegar came on the market; many companies were hesitant to make a switch to a product that claimed it could perform at the same rate as the top-of-the-line disinfectant but without the use of respirators. We kept an eye on the product waiting for more long-term studies on the product’s effectiveness and longevity. Around 2012 Craftech made the switch from synthetic disinfectants to Benefect’s botanical disinfectant. We were so impressed that we began trying other products such as their Fiberlock lines for mold stain removal and eradication. These products were not only safer to apply, but they also have a pleasant smell and work better than their synthetic counterparts.

What’s That Smell?

Benefect has a very distinct smell; their primary plant ingredient happens to be the herb Thyme. The formulas are a proprietary blend of essential oils, including thyme, lemongrass, and oregano, plus a bio-surfactant (the cleaning & emulsifying component) derived from palm kernel, pharmaceutical grade water, and naturally occurring groundwater ions. The smell of their product is not only pleasant, but it also requires no rinsing or wiping after. It requires no warning labels or first aid statements and comes ready to use, making it impossible to mix it with the wrong ratio.

Just How Effective Is it?

With only five ingredients, it doesn’t seem possible that it can be nearly as effective without any of the risks of synthetic disinfectants. The groundbreaking botanical technology is proven to kill over 99.99% of bacteria & surpasses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efficacy requirements for broad-spectrum hospital disinfectants. The EPA has approved Benefect as a disinfectant; the EPA number for Benefect Disinfectant is 84683-1-74771.

How Does it Work?

As with all disinfectants, the area must not be excessively dirty before applying. Benefect can clean and disinfect all in one step. As with any work we do, Craftech always does a preliminary cleaning before applying any disinfectant. The EPA has recommended contact dwell times that are standard to kill different types of microorganisms effectively. Benefect Disinfectants require contact dwell times from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, depending on the organism.  However, since Benefect Disinfectants are all no-rinse, no-wipe products, there is no need to count contact times – simply wet the surface & let it air dry.

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