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  #1  
Old 09-18-2021, 01:42 PM
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Default What is enough sterilization for surfaces?

Hello all,

I had a quick question on what is enough sterilization for plastic surfaces in particular. I had a cattleya unfortunately grow its roots into my water transport area. When I pried off the roots, inevitability, I lost a couple of tips on this new growth (hopefully not too much of a problem for a mostly vigorous plant). I use this to water though and don’t want plant sap lingering and possibly infecting other plants. I scraped it and put alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and straight physan on the surface.

Is that enough to kill any sap dwelling microbes?

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:20 PM
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It sounds like a pretty through treatment to me. I doubt that much bad stuff could survive your efforts.
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Old 09-18-2021, 03:55 PM
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Scrape off all organic material, then clean with plain soap and water. That is enough to kill most diseases. Mosaic viruses may survive soap. Plain milk kills them, even reconstituted nonfat powdered milk.
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Scrape off all organic material, then clean with plain soap and water. That is enough to kill most diseases. Mosaic viruses may survive soap. Plain milk kills them, even reconstituted nonfat powdered milk.
What about mosaic viruses and alcohol/peroxide/Lysol?
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:14 PM
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That's overkill. Any one of those should suffice. Peroxide is probably cheapest of those.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:20 PM
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Other related question:

What about hands? If I touch or manipulate a plant and gets its sap on my hands, is hand sanitizer good enough to kill any viruses or germs? I’ve been keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in my greenhouse for this purpose as sometimes I’ll twist off a rotten growth or leaf and get it on my hands. Then I’ll use hand sanitizer and make sure to get it under my nails too before I touch another plant.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:41 PM
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Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill most bacteria and fungi, and most viruses. Alcohol is not as good killing fungal nor bacterial spores, and it isn't that good at killing mosaic viruses. Handwashing with soap and water is better at removing spores. Those that aren't killed by the soap are washed away. People use alcohol hand rubs in health care settings because most of the organisms of concern there are not in spore form.

If you do an Advanced Search on "mosaic" and my partial username estaci you will probably find some studies I posted here recently about mosaic virus inactivation. Handwashing gave inactivation rates above 50% but not 90%. Washing hands with milk inactivated almost all the virus.

(If you use my entire username you must include the accent. Computers see estacion and estación as two different words, and the search will not return the results you want. That's why I suggest searching on my partial username.)
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Old 09-22-2021, 01:00 PM
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Probably overkill for casual interaction with plants, but for repotting, some very cheap vinyl gloves (of the sort that are used for food service) can be useful. I find that latex gloves tear too easily, if the vinyl gloves are too flimsy or too hard to work while wearing, Home Depot sells boxes of nitrile gloves that are pretty cheap.
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