Why So Blue?
  • Maggie Franklin
  • October 16, 2009

Just a little pet peeve: why do so many people insist on mixing their concentrated disinfectant wrong? Just flat-out, blatantly wrong? As if they'd never bothered to so much as glance at the directions for mixing it?

 

I think every manufacturer of a disinfectant concentrate should include a little color chip on the label that says, "This is what color your disinfectant should be when properly diluted for use." Seems logical enough — that's how those little tester kits for swimming pools work.

 

Now, not all concentrated disinfectant products are blue, but a lot of them are and it seems that the blue ones are the most prevalent. Every one that I've used, when properly mixed for disinfection of implements, is about the color of Windex. Some are a little darker, some are a tad lighter, but Windex is just about the right color.

 

Unlike the intense, dark indigo color I see in salons everywhere I go. Well, that is, in the salons that bother to have disinfectant at all — at least in a visible place. In fact, at some of the cleanest, most conscientious salons I've worked in I've had to cringe and bite my tongue as coworkers proudly place their disinfectant jars on the corners of their stations — displaying such a dark and vivid shade of blue you'd think they painstakingly emptied the contents of a thousand blue Bic ink pens into that jar.

 

I don't get it. Do people really think that these concentrates work better if they remain concentrated? You know they don't. They're meant to be diluted. When diluted with water in the proportions clearly stated in the directions for use, the resulted mixture will work according to the manufacturer's claims — which is what the EPA tested and approved and gave a little number to. Failing to follow those directions means you're disinfectant isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing the way it's supposed to be doing it. A solution that doesn't rust implements when properly diluted could make you mighty unhappy if you aren't mixing it properly. The state board could cite you for failing to properly disinfect your implements and for failing to follow manufacturers' instructions for use. Not to mention you're just throwing money down the drain — literally. Plus, that blue dye stains everything and makes your brushes look like they haven't been cleaned at all, let alone disinfected.

 

And then there's my personal beef: explaining to clients why some of the disinfectant is one shade of blue and another is another. That no, I am not being cheap and cutting corners trying to stretch my disinfectant. That I actually mix mine according to the directions and that, yes, that light blue is the color it's meant to be. I even went out and bought myself a little measuring cup and an empty gallon jug specifically dedicated to mixing my disinfectant.

 

I'm just going to stop using a blue one. I'm about to go on a blue boycott anyway.

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