Understanding "Quat" Binding and Why it Matters
Quaternary Ammonium (quat) is the active ingredient found in many disinfectants. It is relied upon across many industries as an effective killer of germs, virus, and bacteria. When used properly quat disinfectants are highly effective, but without proper use may suffer from quat binding.
Quat binding occurs when the quaternary ammonium chloride sticks and absorbs to the fibers of your mop or cloth. This binding is invisible to the naked eye and will go unnoticed by the users but can drastically reduce a disinfectants effectiveness. As positively charged quat ion bind to positively charged natural fibers like cotton, the active ppm of quat disinfectants drop dramatically and don’t make it to the surface meant to be cleaned.
In one study it was shown that soaking a cloth in a pail of cleaning solution for only 10 minutes dropped the level of active ingredient by an astonishing 50%! This leaves a cloth that may not kill germs as it should and may even produce disinfectant resistant microorganisms.
Though this may be new and worrying for many users of quat sanitizers/disinfectants the solution is easy. The key to reducing quat binding is to look at your cleaning tools. Quats and cotton simply do not mix. Rather than cotton mops or rags, use microfiber or micro denier textiles to reduce quat absorption to insignificant levels keeping your cleaning solution at its expected strength.
The small cost of new cleaning gear is easy to justify when you consider the wasted expense of using the wrong tool for the job! Don't let your cleaners get stuck on the way to the job.