Wiping Out Covid-19: A Guide to the Best Type of Disinfectant Wipes to Buy During the Pandemic (or Cold and Flu Season)

How Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) Aids Alcohol in Disinfecting Hard Surfaces and Protection from COVID-19

Alcohol and BZK are a winning combination and are useful where the level of sanitation is critical and additional precautions need to be taken to prevent spread of disease. Thus, they are important in hospitals, day care centers and healthcare facilities and other environments with high concentrations of infectious bacteria. In the home environment, they may be needed for the nursing care of sick individuals with specific infections, or for those whose immune systems have been weakened by chronic disease, chemotherapy or transplants.

Antibacterials may be divided into two groups according to their speed of action and residue production: 

  • The first group contains those that act rapidly to destroy bacteria, but quickly disappear (by evaporation or breakdown) and leave no active residue behind (referred to as non-residue-producing). Examples of this type are the alcohols (ethanol and isopropanol), chlorine, peroxides, and aldehydes. According to the CDC, alcohol wipes are just as effective at killing COVID-19 on surfaces and may be easier to find in stores than other approved disinfectants — but make sure that the concentration is at least 70% alcohol. 
  • The second group consists mostly of newer compounds that leave long-acting residues on the surface to be disinfected and thus have a prolonged action (referred to as residue-producing). Common examples of this group are triclosan, triclocarban, and benzalkonium chloride (BZK). BZK is an antibacterial widely used as a germicide in clinical medicine. Benzalkonium chloride, along with both ethanol and isopropanol, is deemed eligible by FDA for use in the formulation of products used in hospitals/doctors’ offices. 

Although BZK (as a primary active ingredient) isn’t a CDC approved alternative to 70% concentrated alcohol wipes, it is an FDA approved antiseptic, antimicrobial and fast-acting biocidal agent which reduces/kills 99.9% of germs, virus, fungi, bacteria. 

Think of BZK as a “plus one” in the fight against COVID-19 when combined with CDC recommend alcohol-based products.

BZK provides a greater protection barrier than alchohol because it dries on average an estimated 10 to 15 seconds slower than alcohol-based sanitizers, which inadvertently allows for a more efficacious coverage (up to 4 hours of residual protection) and minimizes the number of reapplications needed. 

BZK and > 70% Alcohol Disinfecting Wipes are proven by studies to be the winning combination. CLICK TO SEE OUR FULL PPE CATALOG. If you are a distributor or wish to become one, please contact support@firstvoice.us for special pricing and catalog.


CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008): https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/disinfection-methods/chemical.html

Evaluation of a BZK hand sanitizer in reducing transient Staphylococcus aureus bacterial skin contamination in health care workers: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655319308119

Safer Disinfectants on EPA’s List of Recommended Antimicrobial Products for the Use Against Novel Human Corona Virus: https://thinksafe.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/updated-safer-disinfectants-epa-list.pdf

Doctor Challenges CDC Claims on Hand Sanitizer Against Coronavirus: https://wjla.com/news/nation-world/doctor-challenges-cdc-claims-on-hand-sanitizer-against-coronavirus

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