A Quick Guide to Envelope Viruses and How our Products Work

The left hand picture is a basic image of an "enveloped" virus. This virus is enclosed by a lipid membrane (a fat like substance). This membrane (envelope) is used by the virus to attach itself to the host cell and replicates itself. The envelope itself is actually quite fragile, and susceptible to changes in temperature, PH levels and disinfectants.

carpet cleaning against viruses2

Some examples of enveloped viruses are as follows:-

  • Chicken Pox
  • Influenza A
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • and of course, Coronaviruses 

Like most enveloped viruses, outside of the human body they are very weak and are easily destroyed by hot water and disinfectant (hence all the press and government advice on washing your hands!). Needless to say, it is not so easy to kill viruses once inside the human body so never ever consume disinfectant!!!

There are various agents effective against enveloped viruses.  The most common and best one has to be bleach but there is no way we would be able to go splashing this around customer's furnishings and carpets! The most well known version is alcohol and these come in the form of hand sanitisers. It works very quickly but it evaporates so how long it lasts is limited. 

QATs or (quaternary ammonium compounds) take longer to work but provide longer lasting protection. They are best applied and left on the surface in order to kill the virus. They disrupt the envelope membrane, which exposes the nucleocapsid, affecting its ability to infect cells. 

The great thing about QAT's is that you can use these on pretty much all surfaces, so we can pre-spray onto carpets and upholstery pre cleaning and/or spray application to carpets post cleaning. It can also be used on hard surfaces and touch point surfaces such as door handles, floors and work surfaces. It is best applied by misting and not by cloth, (cloths are awful cross contaminants!). In our Envirosafe product we use, not only do these kill viruses but are also great with bacteria, fungi and mold.

carpet cleaning against viruses