It’s commonly known that the pandemic brought on supply chain issues in the cleaning industry. It was hard to get bottles, pumps, chemistry, ingredients, and many other necessary tools of the trade. If a product was from overseas, there was a chance that its delivery into the U.S. was stopped for months.

Meanwhile, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting was front and center. People wanted to know that they were being protected inside facilities, and that BSCs had cleaning and disinfecting processes in place to accomplish those goals.

As the national media promoted increased cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting frequencies, they didn’t address the active ingredients in the chemicals that were being used in facilities, rental cars, planes, trains and buses. That was the missing piece, since not all sanitizers and disinfectants are made the same. They may kill the same pathogenic threats and be used the same, but some are more toxic than others because of the attributes of their chemistry.

Knowing this and faced with supply chain challenges, many BSCs sought out alternative products and equipment to accomplish their cleaning tasks. This led to an increased interest in hypochlorous acid.

HOCl kills all of the same pathogens that chlorine bleach, peroxides and quats do. It is also less expensive to make per gallon then the traditional quat disinfectants, and is on par with the cost of chlorine bleach. HOCl can cost less than $5 per gallon to make using tablets or onsite generation machines.

This last point is the major barrier to using HOCl. It isn’t a product that is put in a dispensing station or dilution control system, but the benefits of its use far outweigh the process changes.

There are two ways to make HOCl. The first is to buy a generation machine that is installed in a facility and is either a capital cost or a monthly lease cost. The machine will continue to generate solution as long as water, salt and electricity are available.

If a large capital investment or monthly fee is out of the question, then BSCs can purchase NaDCC tablets and add those to water to make HOCl. This is an inexpensive, sustainable way to get into HOCl sanitizing and disinfection.

The tablets are stable for three years in storage, and once diluted to the ready-to-use concentration, the solution is good for seven days up to months. To test the efficacy, the solution can be checked with a FAC (free available chlorine) strip.

Finally, the tablets are dry, which cuts back on package weight and size, saving on shipping costs. They are also compact, which can save 50 percent or more on plastic and cardboard solid waste.

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How To Apply HOCl