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We’ve all heard of commodity disinfectants — peroxide, chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, etc. But do we really understand what role and advantages combination chemistries — think peroxide + quat, aldehyde + quat, peracetic acid, etc. – bring to the table?

The key to selecting the right disinfectant for your facility is to keep it simple. Using products designed for the application and at the correct concentrations is critical. For example, diluted, no-rinse quat sanitizers used in processing plants are not necessarily designed for live production.

There are a few applications where single ingredient commodity disinfectants can work and are recommended, but for the most part there are better options available for animal health pathogen control. So how do you choose the best disinfectant for your needs? Here are some guiding questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you able to clean first?
    Organic material needs to be removed to set up most disinfectants for success. How a soap complements or inhibits the disinfectant has a great impact on pathogen reduction success.
  2. What pathogens are you trying to target?
    It is important to use an EPA-registered product and review the label to know which bacteria, fungi and viruses the product is effective against and at what concentration. Remember – food pathogens, such as Listeria, should not be overlooked in live production.
  3. Does the product foam?
    Contact time is critically important for determining how effective a disinfectant is at reducing animal pathogens. The key is to increase contact time — make the product stick. Most commodity chemistries (like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) do not foam by themselves and therefore do not stick. Additionally, combining foaming soaps with disinfectants may partially or completely inactive the disinfectant when foamed. Certain combinations can also produce dangerous off-gasses when mixed by sanitation employees. Best practice is to simply use the correct combination chemistry the first time – keep it simple.
  4. What equipment will you be using?
    Use simple equipment to keep application simple. Automatic proportioners are extremely valuable to ensure you are using the right concentration in your foaming equipment and foggers. Additionally, use test strips to verify proper concentrations.

The Commodity vs Combination: Is Your Antimicrobial Doing Enough? on demand webinar takes a deeper dive into each of the commonly used commodity and combination chemistries and highlights the pros and cons of using. To access this detailed information, simply click here to register for the webinar. You will be automatically sent a link to view at your convenience.

Commodity vs Combination

Ultimately, choosing your disinfectant should be more than simply using what is cheapest or what might be laying around and quickly accessible. It is important to consider the goal you are hoping to achieve and the situation. For example, are you trying to get a quick kill on tires, but don’t want the product to be corrosive or sticky to vehicle surfaces? Or, do you need a broad-spectrum product that is also not irritating to employees? While commodity products might seem to be initially more affordable and easier to access, do negatives such as corrosion, off-gassing, employee exposure and extremely high use rates outweigh the cost benefits? It is important to look beyond the jug or drum’s cost per gallon to really capture the benefits of using combination chemistry.

PerQuat Technology — Peroxide + Quaternary Ammonium (Quat)

While we explore several different combination chemistries in the webinar, Sterilex’s patented PerQuat Technology is worth highlighting further. The synergistic combination of peroxide and quat gives Sterilex products their unique ability to penetrate biofilm, collapse its protective matrix and chemically scrub the biofilm from the surface. FortiSolve is the only EPA-registered product on the market specifically tailored to sanitize, disinfect, and remove biofilm in animal drinking lines.

FortiGuard is a solid, foot pan and floor sanitizer that is simply a solid version of the PerQuat Technology. It is a quat powder combined with percarbonate (“powdered peroxide”). Again, this unique combination chemistry provides additional benefits such as traction, low dust, no odor, and active ingredients remain stable for up to 8 weeks – simply replenish as product is tracked out. Plus, it can quickly be tested to verify active ingredients are still stable. Most importantly, FortiGuard is EPA-registered and therefore proven effective against numerous harmful pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Avian Influenza and LT virus.