Tattoo Supplies: Surface disinfectant levels, kill times and options for your Tattoo Shop. | Eikon | Tattoo Equipment & Supplies
Tattoo Supplies: Surface Disinfectant Levels, Kill Times and Options for Your Tattoo Shop

Tattoo Supplies: Surface Disinfectant Levels, Kill Times and Options for Your Tattoo Shop

June 22, 2020   |   By The Eikon Team

Returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic has proven challenging for many reasons. For one thing, the products you need and trust to clean your shop are the same products that medical professionals and hospitals require to keep themselves, their families and their patients safe and quite frankly there just isn't enough of any one product to go around. Over the coming days, weeks and months you will start to see new, quality brands of surface disinfectants hitting our shelves. These products are being brought in to ensure we have what you need to keep your shop clean and properly sanitized. Please note, surface disinfectants are not “one-size fits all” - they each have very different applications and we’ve outlined for you below, what sets them apart.

Surface Disinfectants Levels

Before we jump into each of the products we’re carrying, we wanted to provide you with some definition of the levels of disinfectants out there. We are using the Ontario Personal Services Guide as a reference for this article. Please remember that requirements vary by region, so be sure to check in with your local health board.

Low-level disinfection destroys vegetative bacteria and some fungi and viruses but not mycobacteria, spores or TB. Low-level disinfectants will contain a DIN because they are regulated by Health Canada.

Use: Low-Level disinfectants are required for cleaning environmental surfaces, non-critical equipment, and items that do not directly contact non-intact skin.

Intermediate level disinfectants are required for cleaning non-critical equipment, and items that may accidentally come into contact with non-intact skin. An intermediate-level disinfectant is a low-level disinfectant with efficacy against mycobacteria (ie Tuberculosis), as well as destroying vegetative bacteria, most viruses, and most fungi but not bacterial spores.

All of the Intermediate Level disinfectants we carry have TB Kill strength.

Intermediate-level disinfectants will contain a DIN because they are regulated by Health Canada.

Use: Intermediate level disinfectants are the most frequently used type of surface disinfectant used in tattoo shops, mainly on workstations.

High-level disinfectants are capable of destroying or irreversibly inactivating all microbial pathogens, but not necessarily large numbers of bacterial spores.

Use: Not usually used as a surface disinfectant, High-Level disinfectants are generally used for soaking tools and equipment.

PREempt™ CS20™

PREempt™ CS20™ is a sterilant and High-Level disinfectant that can be used for reprocessing heat sensitive, semi-critical and critical tools that are not suitable for heat sterilization. The active ingredient in CS20 is Hydrogen Peroxide, which breaks down into water and oxygen, reducing its environmental impact. This product is designed for use as a soak, sterilizing tools in 20 minutes! It can be reused for up to 14 days in a soaking tray.


PreEmpt products will come in and out of stock over the next little while as they try to keep up with demand. Only available in Canada.


Easily the most popular surface disinfectant in our store, Cavicide1 is an Intermediate Level multi-purpose disinfectant and decontaminant that can be used on hard, non-porous surfaces. Available in a spray format, CaviWipes and large 4L jugs, Cavicide is a 1-step solution that is effective at killing a broad spectrum of bacteria (including Tuberculosis), viruses and fungi in 1 minute.

Level: Intermediate
Kill Time: 1 Minute


Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation and increased demand, this is currently one of the most difficult products to get our hands on. We will start to see monthly shipments, but with a fraction of the quantities we would like. Right now Metrex’s focus is on manufacturing wipes over the liquid form, however the availability of canisters for the CaviWipes is currently very low. As shipments of Cavicide1 and CaviWipes will be sporadic over the coming weeks and months, we recommend using the “Notify Me” function to be updated on exactly when they arrive. Only available in Canada.

PreEmpt Surface Disinfectant

PreEmpt is an Intermediate Level, 1-step surface cleaner and disinfectant that uses Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP ®) technology to safely, effectively, responsibly and sustainably clean hard, non-porous surfaces in the shop. It is the first and only Green Certified product line that provides the best balance of speed of disinfection, the spectrum of disinfection effectiveness, cleaning effectiveness, and health, safety and environmental friendliness.

The kill time on this product may be slightly slower than Cavicide1, but what it loses in speed, it makes up for in environmental friendliness.

Level: Intermediate
Kill Time: 3 Minutes*
*PreEmpt Concentrate has a 5 minute kill time.


PreEmpt products will come in and out of stock over the next little while as they try to keep up with demand. They are working hard to provide us with a mix of spray bottles, refills and wipes as they become available. PreEmpt products are currently in stock in all configurations except the spray format. There is currently a shortage of spray nozzles available which has made this type of product hard to stock. Only available in Canada.

Germiphene Surface Disinfectant

Canadian owned Germiphene products have been a staple in tattoo shops for years. Their Germicide 3 and Ultra Swipes are Intermediate Level surface disinfectants that provide the TB kill strength required by Health Canada, at two different kill times. Germicide3 has a 3-minute kill time, while Ultra Swipes deliver the highly coveted 1-minute kill time.

Ultra Swipes Refill

Ultra Swipes 6” x 6.75” disinfectant wipes come in 160-count packs. These packs are not resealable, and the wipes are meant to be transferred to a tub or jar.

Level: Intermediate
Kill Time: 1 Minute


Ultra Swipes are currently only available in “refill” packs due to a shortage of canisters. Germiphene will be working to provide us with monthly shipments of Ultra Swipes. Only available in Canada.

Germicide3 Surface Disinfectant

Germicide3 Intermediate Level surface disinfectant may be used on both hard and soft surfaces around the tattoo shop including plastic, ceramic, stainless steel, chrome, acrylic, leather, vinyl, glass and Plexiglas®. Germicide3 disinfectant is non-sticky and won’t leave a hazardous chemical residue on surfaces when used as directed. It's listed as user and environmentally friendly.

Level: Intermediate
Kill Time: 3 Minutes


Currently, Germicide3 is only available with lemon scent, in 4L jugs. We do expect to see wipes and spray format in the future. Once available we will also be moving to the unscented version, so enjoy the lemon scent while you can! Only available in Canada.

Medicom ProSurface Disinfectant

Coming soon! Medicom ProSurface is an Intermediate Level surface disinfectant that delivers powerful 1-step cleaning and disinfection with a 1-minute kill time. ProSurface eliminates 48 pathogens including bacteria like TB (Tuberculosis), viruses and fungi, without damaging surfaces in your shop.

Level: Intermediate
Kill Time: 1 Minute


The good people at Medicom have us in line for ProSurface Wipes as they become available. Watch the website and use the “Notify Me” button to be notified as soon as they are in stock. Eventually, this product will be available in both spray and wipes form, but in limited quantities until they are more readily available. Only available in Canada.

Isocare RTU Surface Disinfectant

New to the Eikon store, Isocare RTU Surface Disinfectant is a Low Level, one-step, hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner. This broad-spectrum disinfectant is best suited for cleaning common areas around your tattoo shop (not your station). Due to the lack of availability of Intermediate surface disinfectants we have added this product for use around the shop in areas that do not require an Intermediate Level disinfectant. Make your Cavicide go further by using Isocare at your front desk, in washrooms and lunchrooms.

Level: Low
Kill Time: 1 Minute


Isocare RTU is readily available but delays may be experienced due to the scarcity of spray nozzles. This means we don't always get the quantity we would like, but stock is flowing. Only available in Canada.

TIP: Hold on to your Empties

Hold on to your empty wipes containers, spray nozzles and pumps, these items are in high demand and can be reused* when purchasing gallons and wipe refill packs.

*Be Safe: when refilling containers don’t mix products and be sure to re-label when necessary.

The Eikon Team

About the Author

Eikon Device was started in 1994, working out of a small garage, manufacturing the first needle specifically designed to meet the needs of tattoo artists. That started an odyssey of research and development that has seen many advancements in tattoo equipment including four generations of Eikon meter/power supplies, the Tru-Spring Armature Bar system, Griffin Tubes, Hydra Needles, and Symbeos, Helix and Green Monster Machines.
Read more by The Eikon Team

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