Phone: 651-481-1900

Technical FAQ

  • What is a bed bug?

    Bed bugs aren't exclusive to the bed, the mattress or the linens, but as their name suggests: its where they are most comfortable... and the most irritable. The Cimex lectularius (the notorious "bed bug") is an insect. Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Where better to find and feed than the place where we spend the most inactive time? Surely they're annoying, but not stupid, as they've adapted to the human environment.

    Are bed bugs dangerous?

    The bed bug is one of a few insects that are known to NOT carry diseases. They do bite however, leaving a welt that can cause itching and irritation.

    How do you get bed bugs in the home, school business, or hotel?

    Bed bugs will find a way into any facility in any number of ways. Like any infestation, they most commonly hitchhike on your bags and luggage, clothing or other personal effects after you've been previously exposed. Perhaps it was a hotel, public transportation, a conference room, recently-moved storage boxes... you get the picture. As flightless insects, they need you or another animal to move them around.

    How do you know if you have bed bugs?

    Bed bugs are tiny, shy creatures that only come out at night when you are sleeping, so they can be difficult to detect. However, evidence of a bedbug infestation may be found in bedding and on mattresses. People sometimes roll onto bedbugs while they sleep, resulting in bloodstains upon the sheets. Live bedbugs leave clusters of dark brown or black spots of dried excrement on infested surfaces. Bedbugs also exude a subtle, sweet, musty odor.

    Bed bugs can be found in bed sheets, box springs, walls, clothing and luggage. They prefer tight crevices and dark locations where they can remain hidden and protected. Mattresses and other furniture may also host these parasitic insects.

    What cleaning strategies can help prevent a bed bug infestation?

    - Wash and Launder. The bedding, sheets and other linens need to be treated and cared for appropriately. Launder the bedding in hot water and dry on a high heat setting. Place pillows and other non-washable items in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat.

    - Vacuum Often. Eliminate bed bugs on carpets, drapes and upholstered furniture by vacuuming frequently while emptying the bags between room to room visits.

    - Clean Regularly. You can create an inhospitable environment for these pests if you don't give them the chance to create a home, so sweep up, mop and dust in all of your high traffic areas. Cleanliness is the key to prevention.

    If bed bugs are discovered, what should be done?

    Bed bugs are a problem. Now, the whole country knows how big a problem these small parasitic insects are. Nobody knows this problem more than the hospitality industry. To Kill Bed Bugs, you FIRST need to find where they hide. So, back to our first point: Cleanliness is key.

    Clean, then search, then remove, then apply any number of bed bug killing solutions available and approved by a pest control company. Pest control professionals treat using a variety of sprays, dusts and aerosols. (Baits designed to kill ants and cockroaches are ineffective). These sprays are secondary to a thorough room cleaning process, so be sure you've got the tools and chemicals to clean up the bed bug problem. NOTE: Disinfectants do NOT kill bed bugs. Typical disinfectants are designed for killing microscopic pathogens. Bed Bugs are insects.

    - Wash and Launder. The bedding, sheets and other linens need to be treated and cared for appropriately. Launder the bedding in hot water and dry on a high heat setting. Place pillows and other non-washable items in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat.

    - Vacuum. Be particularly thorough in typical bed bug hiding places. Look in dark corners, in cracks and crevices, around headboards and between mattress and boxsprings of beds. Always change the bag and seal the used bag tightly in a plastic trash bag.

    - Hot Water Extract Carpet. Clean Carpets using a hot water extractor and a quality extraction detergent.

    - Inspect. Inspect luggage, clothing, and other transport items that may have served as a ride for bed bugs.

    if you are a hotelier, here are a few tips to combat bed bugs:

    - Bulk up on cleaning. With the heightened awareness and sensitivity to the topic, it won't hurt to go over the top to make sure the entirety your property looks as clean as it can be. Your guest's perception of cleanliness can be brutal, so floors and lobbies - in addition to the in-room experience - must be spotless.

    - Keep your guests informed. Let them know you're looking out for their best interest, but caution them on the things they can do to prevent bed bug outbreaks.

    - Respect the housekeeping staff. Provide them with the cleaning supplies, the cleaning procedures and the resources to do their job to prevent bed bugs.

    Remember, it is not always the hotel to blame; it is the in-bound guests that can most easily bring in bed bugs!

    If you are a traveler:

    - Check for bedbugs before unpacking. Change rooms or hotels if you see evidence, but be sure to inform your hotel or their building services department.

    - Check your baggage and use the suitcase holder provided to you. Or, put your belongings in the bath tub until you feel the room is clean.

    What type of pesticides are effective on bed bugs?

    First, disinfectants used for cleaning and killing bacterial and viral pathogens are NOT effective for bed bugs. Neither are most retail insecticides. Do NOT use these with the hope they will get rid of the problem. The selective use of approved pesticides that have been found to be effective on bed bugs is recommended. Read the Top Ten Bed Bug Tips from the EPA on how get rid of bed bugs using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.

    How can I find effective bed bug pesticides?

    The Environmental Protection Agency had developed an excellent Bed Bug Pesticide Search Tool that provides a list of appropriate bed bug pesticides. The tool also allows you to specify how and where you want to use the pesticide.
  • What is the current status of the H1N1 Pandemic?
    On August 10, 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic that had gripped the globe. The H1N1 crisis has now entered the post pandemic period.

    Is H1N1 still a threat?

    Yes, it is likely that the 2009 H1N1 virus will continue to spread for years to come, like a regular seasonal influenza virus.

    All of the prevention strategies mentioned below are applicable to H1N1and the seasonal flu as well.

    Great news, the yearly seasonal flu vaccine now available includes the 2009 H1N1 virus. One vaccination will now protect individuals from the H1N1 virus.

    You can test your flu IQ knowledge with this interactive widget or visit the CDC website.

    Does Multi-Clean have disinfectants that have claims for the H1N1 virus?

    Century Q 256 and Ful-Trole 64 have claims for the 2009 H1N1 virus. This is in addition to the standard Influenza A virus.

    What’s the best way to avoid contracting the H1N1virus (or any other virus for that matter)?

    The current H1N1 virus should be treated with the same precautions we use every winter to prevent the seasonal Influenza A Flu.

    - Wash hands with soap and water. Antibacterial hand soaps will add additional protection, but it is more important to wash hands for at least 20 seconds and rinse with warm water.

    - Use hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers, such as Multi-Cleans' Sani-Foam Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer also help in protecting against contamination from most germs. Use in conjunction with washing hands or when soap and water are not available.

    - Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are easily contracted when you touch a surface that has been contaminated with the virus and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

    - Disinfect all hard surfaces that could be contaminated with the virus. Century Q 256, Ful-Trole 64 or Microcide TB are great choices.

    - Be sure to disinfect properly. Make sure all surfaces remain in contact with the disinfectant for 10 minutes. Spray and leave surfaces wet for 10 minutes, then wipe dry or wipe surface with disinfectant solutions via a sponge, wet rag or mop and allow to air dry.

    For additional information, check out these resources:

    Centers for Disease Control
    World Health Organization
    Health and Human Services
  • I only want to buy products that use safer surfactants, can I determine anything from a label or MSDS?

    Products that have the U.S. EPA Design for the Environment (DfE), Green Seal, Ecologo or other reputable third party certification are good indicators of products that use safer surfactants. For manufacturers, a company that is part of the EPA's Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) and has been awarded CHAMPION status means that that the company has committed to using only safer surfactants. Look for the SDSI logo on the company website or print information.

    It can be difficult for the untrained eye to look at an MSDS to make the determination. A very popular surfactant still used by many manufacturers today is referred to as an NPE or APE Surfactant. In chemist terminology, this stands for Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylate or Nonyl Phenol Ethoyxlate. These surfactant / detergent ingredients are NOT considered readily biodegradable and may have some chronic health concerns. These types of surfactants have been essentially banned in Canada and Europe, but remain in use in the U.S. because of their low cost.

    Are Green Seal or DfE approved environmentally friendly products less effective than similar products that are not certified?

    No. Being certified does not mean they are less effective. Multi-Clean products that are Green Seal or DfE certified have not changed just because they are now certified. They are the same formulas as they always have been. We submitted them to Green Seal or EPA for the certification process because many school districts, government agencies or building services contractors are now requiring that all products they use are third party certified.
  • Restroom Cleaning: Is it the chemicals, equipment or procedures that is most important factor in getting a really clean restroom?

    As a chemist, my answer is always: the chemicals, of course. Well, I have been in restrooms that use our products, and as much as I hate to say it, not all have reached the goal of good sanitation. It takes more than just great chemicals.

    The real answer of course, is that it takes good chemicals, good equipment and good procedures. The trick is getting all 3 factors to work together in an easy to use manner to achieve the goal of great restroom sanitation.

    The Wave Restroom Cleaning System is a perfect example of how chemistry, equipment and procedures can be used together for a much improved and economical restroom sanitation program.

    The traditional method of mopping floors & spray bottle cleaning has been around for a long time and when used with good procedures by workers who take pride in their work, can keep a restroom looking good. However, even with great procedures, there are many areas that are commonly missed or not thoroughly cleaned, even with the most conscientious workers. These areas can include: behind toilets, under urinals, partitions and most importantly, grout. These are prime areas for moisture, germs and molds to grow and thrive.

    With the Wave, these issues go away. The Wave uses high quality Multi-Task Restroom Super Concentrates. The Multi-Task Cleaners and Disinfectants are engineered to properly dilute the products so the proper dilutions are always being used. No chance of over or under diluting any chemical. The low pressure sprayer allows you to be sure to cover the whole restroom, even areas where mops and rags can't reach. With the brush/squeegee attachments, you can agitate any surfaces that need additional cleaning, like the floor grout. The whole surfaces are then rinsed with fresh water and can be put down the floor drain.

    Issues like improper chemical dilutions, chemical contact, missing hard to reach areas, dirty floor grout are no longer an issue with the Wave. So the real answer to cleaning restrooms is: The Wave.
  • What is Community Associated Methicillan Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA) and what does Multi-Clean have to offer in an effort to control this?

    Although MRSA is making headlines, it's not a new infection - the first case was reported in 1968. The difference is that now, MRSA is affecting more people outside of hospitals. MRSA used to be seen only in those with weakened immune systems, chronically ill people who'd been hospitalized for a long time or had surgery, those receiving long courses of antibiotic therapy, or people living in long-term care facilities like nursing homes or prisons.

    But now a growing number of otherwise healthy people who are not considered at risk for MRSA are getting the infection called Community Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), this type of staph infection has been found most recently in a few high school and professional sports teams. The bug can be passed to athletes via gyms and locker rooms and through shared equipment or skin-to-skin contact (e.g., wrestling and football). Kids in child-care settings may also be at risk.

    Multi-Clean has several different EPA registered disinfectants that are proven to be effective for MRSA. These include:

    ProductDilutionContact Time
    256 Century QUse at ½ oz / gallon10 minutes
    128 E-FECTicideUse at 1 oz / gallon5 minutes
    64 Millennium QUse at 2 oz / gallon10 minutes
    M-C 10 SanitizerUse at 0.8 oz / gallon (4 oz / 5 gallons)10 minutes
    Microcide TBReady-to-Use, Do not dilute3 minutes
    950 Bowl CleanerReady-to-Use, Do not dilute10 minutes

    Hand Hygiene

    Proper hand hygiene is most important in preventing the spread of MRSA. Multi-Clean offers a full line of hand soaps, both in traditional and foamy types.

    Where soap and water are not available, then Sani-Foam Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer should be used. Sani-Foam is proven effective against MRSA with a 15 second contact time. Sani-Foam is perfect for school class rooms, lunch rooms, gymnasiums and any other areas were water is not available.

    Below are some FAQ’s that are from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website that talk about what CA-MRSA is and related issues. Although (as you read below) the environment is not regarded as a major reservoir in the spread of MRSA, it is recommended that procedures for the routine cleaning and disinfection of hard non-porous environmental surfaces be followed using appropriate disinfectants.

    What is Staphylococcus aureus (staph)?

    Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," are bacteria commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. Approximately 25% to 30% of the population is colonized (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) in the nose with staph bacteria. Sometimes, staph can cause an infection. Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) and can be treated without antibiotics (also known as antimicrobials or antibacterials). However, staph bacteria also can cause serious infections (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia).

    What is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)?

    Some staph bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is a type of staph that is resistant to antibiotics called beta-lactams. Beta-lactam antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. While 25% to 30% of the population is colonized with staph, approximately 1% is colonized with MRSA.

    Who gets staph or MRSA infections?

    Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems. These healthcare-associated staph infections include surgical wound infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.

    What is community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)?

    Staph and MRSA can also cause illness in persons outside of hospitals and healthcare facilities. MRSA infections that are acquired by persons who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are know as CA-MRSA infections. Staph or MRSA infections in the community are usually manifested as skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people.

    How common are staph and MRSA infections?

    Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infection in the United States and are a common cause of pneumonia, surgical wound infections, and bloodstream infections. The majority of MRSA infections occur among patients in hospitals or other healthcare settings; however, it is becoming more common in the community setting. Data from a prospective study in 2003, suggests that 12% of clinical MRSA infections are community-associated, but this varies by geographic region and population.

    What does a staph or MRSA infection look like?

    Staph bacteria, including MRSA, can cause skin infections that may look like a pimple or boil and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. More serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or surgical wound infections.

    How can I prevent staph or MRSA skin infections?

    Practice good hygiene:

    Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
    Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
    Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.

    Can I get a staph or MRSA infection at my health club?

    In the outbreaks of MRSA, the environment has not played a significant role in the transmission of MRSA. MRSA is transmitted most frequently by direct skin-to-skin contact. You can protect yourself from infections by practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub and showering after working out); covering any open skin area such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry bandage; avoiding sharing personal items such as towels or razors; using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment; and wiping surfaces of equipment before and after use.

    What should I do if I think I have a staph or MRSA infection?

    See your healthcare provider.

    Are staph and MRSA infections treatable?

    Yes. Most staph and MRSA infections are treatable with antibiotics. If you are given an antibiotic, take all of the doses, even if the infection is getting better, unless your doctor tells you to stop taking it. Do not share antibiotics with other people or save unfinished antibiotics to use at another time.

    How is MRSA transmitted?

    MRSA is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection (e.g., towels, used bandages).

    In what settings do MRSA skin infections occur?

    MRSA skin infections can occur anywhere.

    • Some settings have factors that make it easier for MRSA to be transmitted.

    • These factors, referred to as the 5 C's, are as follows: Crowding, frequent skin-to-skin Contact, Compromised skin (i.e., cuts or abrasions), Contaminated items and surfaces, and lack of Cleanliness.
    • Locations where the 5 C's are common include schools, dormitories, military barracks, households, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.

    Should schools close because of an MRSA infection?

    The decision to close a school for any communicable disease should be made by school officials in consultation with local and/or state public health officials. However, in most cases, it is not necessary to close schools because of an MRSA infection in a student. It is important to note that MRSA transmission can be prevented by simple measures such as hand hygiene and covering infections.

    Should the school be closed to be cleaned or disinfected when an MRSA infection occurs?

    Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with MRSA. In general it is not necessary to close schools to "disinfect" them when MRSA infections occur. MRSA skin infections are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and contact with surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection.

    • When MRSA skin infections occur, cleaning and disinfection should be performed on surfaces that are likely to contact uncovered or poorly covered infections.
    • Cleaning surfaces with detergent-based cleaners or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectants is effective at removing MRSA from the environment.
    • It is important to read the instruction labels on all cleaners to make sure they are used safely and appropriately.
    • Environmental cleaners and disinfectants should not be used to treat infections.
    • The EPA provides a list of EPA-registered products effective against MRSA:

    Should the entire school community be notified of every MRSA infection?

    Usually, it should not be necessary to inform the entire school community about a single MRSA infection. When an MRSA infection occurs within the school population, the school nurse and school physician should determine, based on their medical judgment, whether some or all students, parents and staff should be notified. Consultation with the local public health authorities should be used to guide this decision.

    • Remember that staphylococcus (staph) bacteria, including MRSA, have been and remain a common cause of skin infections.
    Should the school be notified that my child has an MRSA infection?
    • Consult with your school about its policy for notification of skin infections.
    Should students with MRSA skin infections be excluded from attending school?
    • Unless directed by a physician, students with MRSA infections should not be excluded from attending school.
    • Exclusion from school should be reserved for those with wound drainage ("pus") that cannot be covered and contained with a clean, dry bandage and for those who cannot maintain good personal hygiene.
    • Students with active infections should be excluded from activities where skin-to-skin contact is likely to occur (e.g., sports) until their infections are healed.
  • What is Multi-Clean's best and most effective floor finish stripper and why?

    Stripping floor finishes is one of the jobs in our industry that is the most labor intensive and least fun job to do. The largest cost/expense of stripping a floor is labor. The last thing you want to see after stripping a floor is that there is still floor finish left on the floor and that the floor will need to be restripped. Now your costs have doubled, just because you tried to save a buck by picking a low priced stripper.

    Ultra Stripper is our most effective, safest and environmentally friendly stripper. Not only will it strip multiple coats of floor finish, it will also strip semi-permanent coatings such as our Stainless Seal, which is a problem for most high pH type strippers. Ultra Stripper will liquefy finishes, which prevents pads from gumming up and allows them to work more effectively. You never have to worry about having to re-strip a floor when properly using Ultra Stripper.

    Traditional strippers contain a high level of caustics that can be corrosive to skin and eyes. Ultra Stripper has no caustics and has a mild pH making it the safest stripper available. In fact, it has been approved by Green Seal for being safe to humans and the environment. It also has a low odor that makes it the perfect choice for health care facilities.

    Why doesn’t Multi-Clean have “No Rinse Strippers”?

    If you look at the directions on any “No Rinse Strippers”, usually the last line will read: Rinse floors with water.

    When you consider the whole stripping process: Unloading equipment, diluting stripping solutions, slopping on floors, using swing machine to agitate, picking up spent solution, stripping baseboards, cleaning up equipment, etc. it is a very long and expensive process.

    By trying to eliminate a final step of rinsing with fresh water, you are putting a lot of trust in your wet/dry vacuum or auto scrubber’s squeegee. Leaving even a small amount of residue on the floor can lead to problems with the new finish that will be applied to the floor.

    Remember, stripping solutions are designed to attack floor finishes and break them down. If you leave any stripper residue on the floor and then apply new finish to the floors, there is nothing to prevent that residue from attacking the floor finish. It can cause a white residue to develop on the base coat, and it may not show up for several days after the finish has been applied. If this happens, the only solution to this problem is to strip the floor again and start over.

    All this because you didn’t want to give the floor a simple rinse with water to assure the floor is clean. A final rinse is the cheapest insurance policy you can get against any problems developing with the new finish on the floors that can be attributed to the stripping process.

    This is why Multi-Clean does not promote “No Rinse Strippers”. If you run into a customer or School/Government Bid that requires “No Rinse Strippers”, we suggest Ultra Stripper. Just be sure to rinse the floor.
  • What is Multi-Clean's best floor finish?

    The better question is: What floor finish will work in my specific application with my current maintenance program?

    Floor finishes are differentiated by the hardness of the polymers used in each floor finish. The harder the floor finish, the more scuff and black heel marking resistant it is. They will maintain their shine longer with minimum maintenance.

    Premier, Multi-Clean’s most durable floor finish is used in accounts where low maintenance is needed, such as schools. Simple daily cleaning and periodic re-coating is all that is required.

    On the other side, highly burnishable finishes will give you the deep wet-look shine. They require high or ultra high speed burnishing daily or several times per week to keep the floors looking great. Highly burnishable finishes will respond and snap back with burnishing to maintain a deep lustrous wet-look shine.

    Prime Shine Ultra is designed specifically for use with ultra high speed burnishing equipment. Shopping centers and high traffic retail stores are typical places where Prime Shine Ultra is used.

    In the mid hardness category, we have Splendor or Decade 100. These are our most versatile finishes. They are more durable than highly burnishable finishes, yet will still respond to low speed or high speed maintenance programs. Splendor and Decade 100 are Multi-Cleans best selling floor finishes.

    Are high solid finishes more durable than low solids finishes?

    No. The % solids of a floor finish means the amount of polymers that will remain on a floor after drying. For Example: Splendor has 19% solids (polymers) and 81% water. Decade 100 has 25% solids (polymers) and 75% water.

    This means that you will need 4 coats of Splendor to obtain the same level of shine that only 3 coats of Decade 100 will provide. This is why high solids floor finishes are often referred to as “Labor Saving Finishes”.

    Durability in floor finishes is related to the hardness of the polymers more than the % solids. See questions above.

    Is a shiny floor a slippery floor?

    There is no correlation between shine and slippery floors. High gloss floors that are clean and dry will meet slip resistance standards. Any floor coating is considered to be a slip resistant surface if it is tested and found to have a static coefficient of friction of 0.5 or higher. Slip resistance is tested on the “James Machine” according to ASTM test method D2047. All Multi-Clean floor finishes and coatings meet this standard and are tested by independent testing labs annually to verify that they meet this standard. If a floor is wet or dirty, then yes, it can be slippery. That is why floors must be kept clean and dry.

    What is the best thing I can do to keep my floors looking good?

    Dust mopping. Dirt and grit on floors is a floor finishes worst enemy. They can act like sandpaper, which will cause small scratches into the finish and will affect the shine and cause the finish to wear prematurely. Dust mop the floors as often as you can, at least 1-2 times per day. Also, use at least 15 feet walk-off matting at all entrances, more during bad weather to help keep dirt, moisture and grit off of the floors.
  • Can Disinfectants be certified by Green Seal?

    According to the EPA, which is responsible for all registered disinfectant/ pesticide labels, neither the Green Seal nor the Green Seal certification may appear on a registered pesticide product label or on non-labeled materials, such as specification sheets, technical data sheets, marketing brochures or any advertising.

    The EPA reviews and approves logos for use on pesticide product labels on a case-by-case basis. The EPA does so to ensure that the logo and /or associated language meet’s their statutory and regulatory labeling requirements. The EPA conducted a review of the Green Seal and its certification and found that the logo and certification statement would not be appropriate for registered pesticide products.

    The EPA is in the process of designing a program with similar intentions that will help consumers to better recognize pesticide products which have reduced risk factors for the environment and public health. This program is currently being coordinated and developed though the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program and the EPA’s Pesticide Reduced Risk Program. Further information on this program will be released in the near future.

    What is the difference between a ½ ounce neutral pH hospital disinfectant and a 2-ounce per gallon hospital disinfectant? Will the 2-ounce per gallon clean better?

    Generally, the only difference between a ½ ounce per gallon and a 2-ounce per gallon neutral pH disinfectant is the amount of actives in the containers. A ½ ounce per gallon product will have 4 times the amount of quats / surfactants etc than a 2 ounce per gallon product will have.

    Once they are both properly diluted, they should both have the same amount of cleaning and disinfecting effectiveness. Generally, the ½ ounce per gallon products are more economical (as defined by cost of diluted product) as they require less packaging, shipping, storage etc.

    Are quat disinfectant cleaners better to use than bleach?

    Yes. Bleach is an effective disinfectant when used properly, but it also has many disadvantages including:

    - Bleach has no cleaning power. A bleach solution is not effective at cutting through fats, oils or greases. Bacteria can hide underneath these greases and can contaminate food or other items. A surface needs to be cleaned first, and then disinfected. This is a 2-step process that required more time.

    - Bleach can harm some surfaces. Bleach is an oxidizing agent and can affect the colors of some surfaces, such as counter tops, clothing, furniture, tile, grout etc.

    - Bleach solutions are easily inactivated by organic soils or sunlight. Bleach solutions must be made up fresh daily.

    - Bleach solutions have a strong chlorine based odor that can be unpleasant or irritating to workers or people in the surrounding areas. Most quat-based disinfectants have either a very mild scent or contain a fragrance that leaves a pleasant scent depending on the product.

    - Bleach can decompose as it sits in its original container over time. Without testing, you cannot be sure if it is as active as is stated on the bottle.

    - Bleach is more expensive than most concentrated disinfectant cleaners. Bleach may cost only $1.00 - $2.00 per gallon on sale at the local grocery store, but when diluted at 1:10 dilution, the cost becomes very expensive when compared to a concentrated disinfectant cleaner that is diluted at 1:64 or 1: 256 depending on the specific product.

    As you can see, bleach has many disadvantages. Quat based disinfectant/cleaners, such as Multi-Clean’s Ful-Trole 64, B-Q 32 or Century Q 256:

    - Cleans and disinfect in one step.
    - Are not inactivated by organic soils or sunlight.
    - Will not harm surfaces.
    - Are EPA Registered
    - Dilutions are stable
    - Economical
    - No irritating odors. All have fresh scent (lemon/floral/pine etc.)

    What is a common error made when disinfecting/sanitizing surfaces?

    Contact time. Disinfectants need to be in contact with the surface for a specific time to properly disinfect/sanitize. Contact time information is listed on all EPA approved labels. Contact times generally run 2-10 minutes, depending on the disinfectant and the organism that you are trying to kill.

    By spraying a disinfectant on a surface and wiping off with a dry cloth does not allow the disinfectant to properly disinfect. By spraying and let remain wet for 10 minutes and then wiping up is acceptable. Wiping a surface with a wet cloth, sponge or mop and allowing the surface to air dry is a preferred method.

    Other common mistakes made include:

    · Not changing solutions in mop buckets or pails when solution is dirty.
    · Not diluting concentrated disinfectants properly. Read the label.

    What is the difference between Sanitizing and Disinfecting?

    Disinfecting means the disinfectant will kill 100% of the microorganisms that are stated on the label on a hard non-porous surface. This is common in Restroom Cleaning.

    Sanitizing will kill 99.99% of the organisms stated on the label. Sanitizing is common in food service environments.