What in the quat is in your disinfecting wipes?

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  • Lemi Shine

Disinfecting wipes are undoubtedly the best thing since sliced bread. Because who really has time to clean on Monday morning when the kids have to get to school and you can’t find your left shoe?

Yeah. No one.

What you probs don’t know is that most disinfecting wipes rely on a little something called “quats” to kill germs. Quats is the nickname for quaternary ammonium compounds, and it’s used in many antibacterial household cleaning products.

But this bacteria-fighting pesticide isn’t so great for you or your little ones.

In fact, if you read the small print, most disinfecting wipes instruct you to wipe off the residue left behind.

Is it just us, or does it seem pretty weird that you have to clean up after you clean up…

 So, allow us to spill the tea on quats.

1. Quats are powerful skin irritants.

Contact with quats can cause dermatitis (a.k.a. skin rashes). Since wipes are hands-on, that’s a hard pass from us, thanks.

2. Quats can also irritate lungs.

Exposure to quats through breathing can trigger respiratory problems, like asthma. Between seasonal allergies and sniffles, and a global pandemic we have enough to worry about.

3. Quats are linked to adverse reproductive effects.

Lab studies have shown a link between quats and reduced fertility rates in mice. Even though this wasn’t a human study, it’s still pretty freaky.

4. Quats may not be all that when it comes to fighting germs.

Because quats have been around for a while, scientists are actually starting to find microbes that are resistant to their antibacterial charms. Just sayin 👀

How to Spot Quats

Like many ingredients you don’t want around the house, quats come in many forms. Here’s a list of the most commonly used quats in disinfecting wipes:

  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Benzethonium chloride
  • Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-16)
  • Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (C14 60%, C16 30%, C12 5%, C18 5%)
  • Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (C12-14)
  • Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-18)
  • Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
  • Dioctyldimethylammonium chloride

Now For an Equally Effective but Less Harsh Alternative

You know where this is going. #ShamelessPlug

Lemi Shine stays far away from quats and gets the job done with super effective and safe citric acid as our active ingredient. Our disinfecting formula kills over 99.9% of viruses and bacteria without leaving behind any toxic residue.

And did we mention they’re effective against SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19)?

Our wipes are flying off the shelves. So, if you want to be the first to know when we’re in stock, sign up for our email list here. And we pinky promise to only send you the best stuff. ;)

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