Safe Disinfectant – Quaternary Ammonium Salts (QAS)

by | Mar 14, 2020

Bacteria, fungi and viruses can wreck havoc on your family’s health and safety.  Chlorine bleach is toxic to the skin, lungs and immune system.  How about a healthy alternative?

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Quaternary Ammonium Salts are  a neutral pH germicidal / virucidal and detergent for use in households.

QAS disinfects, cleans, and deodorizes the following hard, nonporous, inanimate surfaces: floors, walls, metal surfaces, stainless steel surfaces, glazed porcelain, plastic surfaces (such as polypropylene, polystyrene, etc.).

Active Ingredient (QAS)

Quaternary ammonium salts compounds are fairly complex chemicals in which nitrogen is bound to four organic groups. The positively charged cations in the compounds bind with the acidic phospholipids in the microbial cell wall. This action blocks the uptake of nutrients into the microbial cell and prevents the discharge of waste. In general, QACs are effective against a wide range of microbes, although the spore phase is unaffected. At lower concentrations, Gram-positive bacteria are more sensitive to QACs than Gram-negative bacteria. QACs are formulated in many different variations for specific situations.  Interestingly, QAS is biodegradable by oxygen and sunlight UV and is converted into food for soil microbes – what is poison to microbes and viruses becomes nitrogen food for lower food chain life forms.

What About Bleach?

On the other hand, bleach is a dilution of sodium hypochlorite which binds to organic molecules most indiscriminately and oxidizes metals rapidly. Its overall effectiveness, low cost and ease of manufacturing make hypochlorites the most widely used sanitizers. Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidizer  and causes broad cellular mortality by damaging the outer membrane, likely producing eventual lysis of the cell. In addition, these compounds inhibit cellular enzymes and destroy DNA. Spores, however, are resistant to hypochlorites, as the spore coat is not susceptible to oxidation except at high concentrations and elevated temperatures.  Other disadvantages of hypochlorites are corrosiveness to metals, health concerns related to skin irritation and mucous membrane damage and environmental contamination. The latter is of concern as chlorine can combine with organic substances to form toxic chlorinated compounds, such as trihalomethanes and dioxins. Hypochlorite use may be further restricted in the future. Care must be taken when cleaning hypochlorite spills as organic materials such as cloth, sawdust and paper may spontaneously combust upon drying!

Ingredients Safe For The Environment

QAS Dilution: 1:256 (660 ppm quaternary strength) – 1 ounce per 2 gallons of water; ½ ounce per
gallon of water. Use 2 ounces per gallon of water to kill Adenovirus Type 7.  See a longer list further in this blog.
EPA Registration Number: 47371-129-7294

Directions for use:
• It is a violation of Federal law to use QAS in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
• Read the QAS product label affixed to the container before applying.
• Use of QAS according to the labeling is subject to the use precautions and limitations imposed by the label affixed to the container.
• For Human Coronavirus, treated surfaces must remain wet for 1 minute. Wipe dry with a clean cloth, sponge • For Influenza Virus Type A, treated surfaces must remain wet for 2 minutes. Wipe dry with a clean cloth, sponge or mop or allow to air dry.

[highlight]• *Read Carefully – Kills HIV-1 [AIDS virus] AND HBV [HEPATITIS B VIRUS] and HCV [Hepatitis C Virus] and many Coronaviruses ON precleaned,HARD NON – POROUS ENVIRONMENTAL SURFACES / OBJECTS PREVIOUSLY SOILED WITH BLOOD / BODY FLUIDS in health care settings or other settings in which there is an expected likelihood of soiling of inanimate surfaces / objects with blood / body fluids, and in which the surfaces / objects likely to be soiled with blood / body fluids can be associated with the potential for transmission of Human Immunodeficiency[/highlight].

Virus Type I [HIV-1][associated with AIDS] or Hepatitis B Virus HBV] or Hepatitis C Virus [HCV].
• Special Instructions for Disinfection, Cleaning and decontamination against HIV-1 [AIDS Virus] or HBV or HCV on Surfaces / Objects Soiled with Blood / Body Fluids:
Personal Protection: Disposable protective gloves, gowns, face asks, and eye coverings must be worn during all cleaning of blood / body fluids and during decontamination procedures.
• Cleaning Procedures: Blood / body fluids must be thoroughly cleaned from surfaces / objects before application of disinfectant.
• Contact Time: Mix ½ oz. of QAS per gallon of water [or equivalent dilution]. HIV-1
[AIDS virus] is inactivated after a contact time of 4 minutes at 25C [77ºF] [room temperature]. HBV and HCV are inactivated after a 10 minute contact time. Use a 10-minute contact time for all other viruses, fungi, and bacteria listed.
• Disposal of Infectious Materials: Blood / body fluids must be autoclaved and disposed of according to federal, state, and local regulations for infectious waste disposal.

QAS is clinically effective against the following pathogens:

Pseudomonas aeruginosa1
Staphylococcus aureus1
Salmonella enterica
Acinetobacter baumannii
Acinetobacter calcoaceticus
Bordetella bronchiseptica
Chlamydia psittaci
Staphylococcus aureus – Community Associated Methicillin-Resistant [CA-MRSA] [NRS384] [USA300]
Staphylococcus aureus – Community Associated Methicillin-Resistant [CA-MRSA] [NRS123] [USA400]
Enterobacter aerogenes
Enterobacter cloacae NDM -1
Enterococcus faecalis – Vancomycin Resistant (VRE)
Escherichia coli NDM-1
Fusobacterium necrophorum

Klebsiella pneumoniae NDM-1
Legionella pneumophila
Listeria monocytogenes
Pasteurella multocida
Proteus mirabilis
Proteus vulgaris
Salmonella enteritidis
Salmonella typhi
Salmonella typhimurium
Serratia marcescens
Shigella flexneri
Shigella sonnei
Staphylococcus aureus – Methicillin resistant (MRSA)
Staphylococcus aureus – Vancomycin Intermediate Resistant (VISA)
Staphylococcus epidermidis2
Streptococcus faecalis1
Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep)

*Adenovirus Type 4
*Adenovirus Type 7 (at 2 oz. per gallon of water)
*Hepatitis B Virus [HBV]
*Hepatitis C Virus [HCV]
*Herpes Simplex Type 1
*Herpes Simplex Type 2
*Human coronavirus including COVID-19
*HIV-1 [AIDS virus]
*Influenza A Virus/ Hong Kong Flu [in association with organism influenza A virus/Hong Kong]
*Respiratory Syncytial Virus [RSV]
*Rotavirus [WA]
*Rubella virus
*SARS Associated Coronavirus
*Vaccinia [Pox virus]
*Pandemic 2009 H1N1 Influenza A virus [formerly swine flu]
*ATCC & antibiotic-resistant strain

Animal Viruses
*Avian Influenza (H5N1)
*Avian polyomavirus
*Canine distemper
*Equine Herpes Virus Type 1
*Feline coronavirus
*Feline leukemia
*Feline panleukopenia virus
*Feline picornavirus
*Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis
*Infectious bronchitis (Avian IBV)
*Newcastle Disease
*Porcine parvovirus
*Pseudorabies (PRV)
*Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGE)

Aspergillus niger
Candida albicans
Trichophyton mentagrophytes (Athlete’s Foot Fungus)

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