The World of Disinfectants and Bug Killers   11/6/2020


In my last update I shared the zep Quick clean disinfectant that my Sunday Co-host, Robin, found to be an alternative to using ammonia for those sensitive to ammonia. It's available at Home Depot and is about $8 per gallon or about $36 for a case of four gallons. It is ready to use and can be sprayed. 

From experience with Zep products, I suggested reading the ingredients as I know their other cleaning products contain unhealthy ingredients. I asked Robin to send me the list of ingredients and here they are:
?Alkyl di methol benzyl ammonium chloride .15% which is a human skin and severe eye irritant. ... Concentrated solutions are toxic to humans, causing corrosion/irritation to the skin and mucosa, and death if taken internally in sufficient volumes.
?Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride .15% which is a surfactant and includes possible reactions of contact dermatitis, asthma or respiratory symptoms.

There you have it, while it may be very effective, it can be bad news depending on your sensitivities. But then ammonia is not a "walk in the park," either as it is also a neuro-toxin so there's no good news there either. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract and can result in blindness, lung damage or death. The death part of these toxins is generally not from casual exposure as in spraying your surroundings, but, as in the case of ammonia from handling the janitorial grade which is 8 times stronger than the regular laundry grade and having an accident with it like spilling it and then falling and being unable to escape the area. One of my early jobs was as a start up engineer in an ammonia manufacturing plant. Fortunately, it was very well contained and it was rarely in the atmosphere.

The alternative to both ammonia and the zep product is our organic Thyme based Benefect disinfectant. Unfortunately, it's a bit more expensive, but eliminates the toxicity issue. Now that we have access to larger bottles, it's available in an economical 17 oz bottle for $13.49 and can also be used in the electrostatic sprayer. It's not a concentrate, but Ready to Use.

Another chemical alternative is our
Mediclean Germicidal Cleaner Concentrate. Two ounces per gallon for regular disinfecting makes it also economical. Available in 9 oz for $10.95 (makes 4.5 gallons) or 17.5 oz for $17.65 (makes 8.75 gallons). It has some of the same ingredients that the zep disinfectant has.  The numbers to the right are percentage by weight which are about 3 times higher.

N,N-Dialkyl (C8-10) – N,N-dimenthylammonium chloride ,5
N-Alkyl (C12-18) dimethylbenzyammonium chloride .3
Secondary Alcohol Ethoxylates .3
Tetrasodium ethylenediamine tetraacetate .3
Sodium metasilicate  .04
Ethanol .01

And then there's our Clean-Em-Up- ZymesTM concentrate - 9 oz for $59.95. One ounce per gallon can be used used in electrostatic sprayer.

And our new antimicrobial Surface Guard 90  ready to use 9 oz for $38 which can also be used in the electrostatic sprayer and mixed with any other disinfectant used in the electrostatic sprayer. Soon to be available will be the concentrated form of Surface guard 90 in a two ounce bottle which is diluted to make 30 ounces of Ready to Use. The concentrate will be about $19 per 2 oz. This is for microbial organisms such as bacterial, virus, and fungi. It's impact on nymphs of mites or Collembola may be promising but unknown.