Stephen Steinberg | Updated September 20, 2022
Do you know what's actually in your disinfecting wipes that gives them their disinfecting quality?
All disinfectants are required to clearly display what their active ingredients are on their packaging. Despite there being hundreds of different brands of disinfecting wipes on the market, there’s only a handful of active ingredients approved by the EPA and most brands have been using the same old one for decades. Because of this, most disinfecting wipes on the market are nearly identical to each other.
That is, except for Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Wipes and our innovative plant based citric acid chemistry, which has numerous benefits over legacy disinfectants:
Avoid Risks Of Other Active Ingredients
If you look at the labels of nearly all other disinfecting wipes on the market, you’ll see they list some derivative of these active ingredients:
- Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)
- Alkyl (60% C14, 30% C16, 5% C12, 5% C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
- N-Alkyl (68% C12, 32% C14) dimethyl ethylenbenzyl ammonium chloride
- Alkyl (50%C14, 40%C12, 10%C16) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
- Octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Sodium hypochlorite
Quats are the most common active ingredient in disinfecting wipes, but there are many reasons to avoid using a quat disinfectant due to health risks associated with them, from lung and skin irritations to more serious mutagenic and reproductive concerns. An article published in the American Journal of Infection Control states that some quats are “mutagenic and have been shown to damage animal DNA and DNA in human lymphocytes at much lower levels than are present in cleaning chemicals”. If that’s not worrisome enough, quats also pose environmental threats particularly to aquatic life.
Some of the alternatives to quats aren’t necessarily better. Sodium hypochlorite, or bleach, is also a serious asthmagen and poses potential risks of toxic gas release. And while hydrogen peroxide is less of an inhalant toxin than bleach, it still has indoor air quality issues. Use of a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant can increase the level of airborne H2O2 to 60% of the maximum allowed limit or over 600x the natural levels. The CDC also says that prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide can lead to lung, skin and eye irritation as well. And these are just the health consequences. Both hydrogen peroxide and bleach are particularly corrosive on surfaces you may want to disinfect.
The Lowest EPA Toxicity Rating
The EPA categorizes disinfectants from most toxic, Category I, to least toxic, Category IV. Our citric acid disinfecting chemistry falls within the lowest rating, Category IV for oral, dermal and inhalation toxicity. Because our citric acid chemistry is Category IV across the board, we aren’t even required to have any signal words or precautionary statements on the product.
Less Corrosive On Surfaces That Matter Most
Some people get concerned with the word “acid”, but rest assured that our disinfecting wipes are less corrosive on many surfaces compared to quat, bleach and hydrogen peroxide based disinfectants. Because of this, your surfaces will look newer for longer and you won’t have to deal with unnecessary wear-and-tear on the items you disinfect.
Can Disinfect Twice As Fast As Some Quats
To be an EPA registered disinfectant, you must clearly define how long a surface must remain wet in order to reach the intended disinfecting level. For many disinfecting wipes, they disinfect 99.9% of surfaces if and only if the surface remains wet for 10 minutes. This is called the “kill time” or the “dwell time”. While many quat-based disinfecting wipes have a kill time of 10 minutes, our citric acid chemistry has a kill time of 5 minutes - twice as fast as harsher quats.
Still EPA List N For Coronavirus
Disinfectants are tested against specific strains of germs in order to make specific claims. For example, Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Wipes are approved to disinfect 99.9% of HIV-1, MRSA and H1N1 among others. However early on in the COVID pandemic, it was nearly impossible to test disinfectants for how effective they were against SARS-CoV-2 since people needed answers immediately. So the EPA put together List N, a list of disinfectants that they believed would disinfect SARS-CoV-2 based on how effective they were against similar virus strains. Many quat-based disinfecting wipes didn’t make the list, but Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Wipes and our citric acid chemistry did!
Choose Citric Acid & Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Wipes!
Usually when you purchase cleaning supplies you need to choose between different benefits and consequences. With Vapor Fresh Disinfecting Wipes and our innovative citric acid disinfecting chemistry, you don’t need to sacrifice anything!