Quaternary or Peroxide Disinfectants: What’s best for you?

A lot of disinfectants are on the market, but at the end of the day, commercial cleaners often choose between two chemicals: Quaternary Ammonium and Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide.

Those are big words but more importantly there are some big differences between the two disinfectants. One is ideal for noncritical surfaces while the other is good for frequently touched items.

Below, we’ve summarized the two chemicals, both of which our teams use regularly. Ideally, this will help you decide which best fits your needs as disinfection continues to be a top priority for janitorial teams.

Quaternary Ammonium

Well known and widely used, quaternary ammonium disinfectants are EPA approved. They’re regarded as effective disinfectants and are OK to use on hard surfaces.

With that said, they’re best for routine cleaning and disinfecting “noncritical” surfaces such as floors and hospital bed rails. They’re not ideal for frequently touched surfaces, because they need to sit undisturbed much longer than other options.

In terms of germ killing, they work best against bacteria, enveloped viruses (this includes COVID-19) and fungus. They’re not designed to kill spore-based contaminants and generally don’t work against nonenveloped viruses (common colds, norovirus).

Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide

These chemicals were recently introduced as EPA-registered surface disinfectants, making them wonderful for high-touchpoint surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.

The reason they’re an ideal choice is that most have low dwell times, meaning you can spray them on a surface and wipe them off shortly thereafter – and still kill all the germs. Some AHP products such as Oxivir (One our teams commonly use), have dwell times as low as 30 seconds to 1 minute for killing viruses such as COVID-19.

The compounds used to make AHPs are considered safe for staff, falling into the lowest toxicity category. They’re noncorrosive and aren’t affected by organic materials. Additionally, they’re benign, meaning they don’t harm the environment.

Of course, while those are all clear perks the downside is that AHP is more expensive than other disinfectants, including quats.

Need more information on what chemicals are best for your cleaning needs? Send our product team a note any time.

Cleaner’s Corner: Applying Disinfectant – Good, Better, Best

Question: What’s the best way for applying disinfectant?

This may seem surprising, but we get this question a lot. And it’s still common to see people applying disinfectant incorrectly. The thing is. it doesn’t need to be complicated. I’ve laid out three different approaches to application, ranging from good to best.

Of course, I’d always recommend you use the best method when applying disinfectant, but for proper disinfecting, any of these options will do the trick. So, take a look below and let us know if you have questions.

Good: Immersion

Immerse your cloth in the disinfectant for the amount of time per label instructions. This is what we rarely want to see because the longer the cloth is in the disinfectant, the less effective that disinfectant becomes if it’s quaternary ammonium.

See our KleenMark Distribution site for quaternary and accelerated hydrogen peroxide disinfectants.

Better: Quick Soak

Dip the material in the disinfectant for a few seconds and then use it immediately. This will lessen the quat action, but not as much as leaving a cloth soaking in a bucket of disinfectant. Another great tip is to frequently change the surface of the cloth per surface being cleaned. 


Best: Direct

When the disinfectant is applied directly, it begins to immediately interact with the contaminated surface. The key is to ensure you cover all surfaces with disinfectant, use the appropriate micron level on your sprayer and manage over-spray. This reduces quat binding almost entirely. That means the positively charged “quats” can’t get stuck in a negatively charged cloth. If they get stuck in the cloth they’re never released and therefore don’t do their job.


Restroom Rescue: What a Deep Clean Looks Like

Few things can give people confidence that your building is fresh than premium restroom cleaning. But what’s that look like? And how do you get – and keep – them looking and smelling good?

Well, we’ve got the answers. Our teams clean more than 25 million square feet each day and to say that includes a lot of restrooms would be an understatement. We’ll have you on track to make your restrooms rock stars in no time.

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Revive Your Floors

Restroom floors take a beating. Along with high traffic, people are prone to make messes, and eventually you need to give them more attention than a mop can offer as part of your restroom cleaning.

If you have a tile floor we recommend you follow this 4-step process. It involved degreasing, scrubbing with a swing machine and then sealing it up to extend its life and to make daily cleaning more effective.

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Outwit Odors

Look, we can’t get away from EVERY odor in a restroom, but we can eliminate those nagging, lingering smells that seem to never go away.

While grout cleaning will help, floor drains are almost always responsible for long-lasting odors. Of course, that’s assuming you regularly clean and disinfect properly. Additionally, keep an odor counteractant with you to neutralize toilet bowl smells.

Check out this edition of Cleaner’s Corner for more detail.

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Go Touchless

The fewer things people have to touch, the better. It’s that simple.

Opt for touchless soap and towel dispensers. And, place trash cans with open tops near the door, so people can easily toss their garbage and used paper towels (because nothing signals dirty more than wet towels on the floor).

We’ve tested a lot of touch-free options. These are four of our favorites.

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Police Restrooms Regularly

Once you’ve done the heavy scrubbing and eliminated those mystery smells, you have to maintain things or it goes south fast.

We recommend having a day cleaner who can spot mop and check for unexpected accidents in your restroom throughout the day. They’ll also keep an eye on supplies, pick up trash and handle any other eyesores that pop up.

Give “What’s a Day Porter and Do I Need One?” to learn more.

Send us a note or give us a call any time if your restrooms need deep-cleaning services you’re unable to provide. We can help get you on track.
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