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CBS 58 Special Report: Simulation of germ spread and how to properly disinfect

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- During this pandemic you’ve probably been told a million times to wash your hands and wipe down surfaces, and it’s going to be even more important as the state starts to open up

CBS 58 Investigates used Glo Germ, a gel that simulates germs and shows up under UV light to find out what it takes to properly disinfect your hands and surfaces.

We put the Glo Germ on, then washed, following the CDC guidelines. Wet your hands, lather and scrub for 20 seconds, making sure to get between your fingers and under your nails. The rinse and dry. The results show almost all the germs were gone.

Then we did three more washes. First scrubbing for only 10 seconds, then using soap but no scrubbing and lastly we only used water. All three results showed our hands were still dirty and full of germs.

Dr. Mario Ademaj with ProHealth Care says he tells patients to use the happy birthday trick, singing it at least twice while you scrub.

We also asked if the kind of soap matters because some say antibacterial and others do not.

“It actually does not matter,” Dr Ademaj said. “There have been many studies to evaluate antibacterial properties in soaps and just regular soaps and there’s not any data suggesting one is more effective than another.”

Dr. Ademaj says If soap and water aren’t an option, use hand sanitizer and make sure it contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

When it comes to cleaning things like your phone and countertops, there are steps you need to follow to make sure you properly disinfect surfaces.

“You want to start by washing it with soap and water if you are able to,” Dr. Ademaj said. “Then when you’re disinfecting it, whatever you are putting as your solution on the surface, you want to allow 10 minutes.”

Dr. Ademaj adds you should wear gloves.

The EPA has a list of COVID-19 disinfectants. You can click here and enter the EPA number listed on your cleaning product to see if it’s registered.

The CDC also has information about how to wash various surfaces. To find out more click here

Dr. Ademaj, an active member of the area’s Albanian community also gave us some disinfecting tips in Albanian.

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