Frequent and proper disinfecting of commonly used surfaces is critical to killing germs and viruses to prevent their transmission. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, there’s been a renewed emphasis on the frequency in which surfaces are disinfected, be it in front of the house dining rooms, back of house food prep areas, school classrooms, etc. Revised disinfecting procedures have been implemented into new HACCP plans across all types of commercial operations.

Bleach has long been a common standard for disinfecting, and for good reason. Its powerful and gets the job done with high efficiency. However, it’s not right for every surface.

Some main drawbacks for using bleach to disinfect include:

  • It’s corrosive. It’s part of why it’s so efficient at killing germs and viruses, but it can also irritate the skin if it comes in contact, and depending on the surface it’s used on, it could stain or damage it.
  • It can react with other chemicals if it happens to mix other cleaning products, which could release dangerous gases such as ammonia and chlorine.
  • It has a strong, at times overwhelming odor.

What surfaces should you avoid using bleach on?

Bleach should only be used on non-porous surfaces (surfaces where liquid and air can’t penetrate). This eliminates any surface made of wood, such as butcher-block countertops, wooden tables, and cutting boards. If the material is porous, bleach can’t effectively enter or exit safely enough to sanitize.

You’ll want to avoid using bleach on most metals, including stainless steel because it can become oxidized and corroded with exposure. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid use on granite countertops as it could stain it and distort its natural color, and overuse can lead to corrosion.

Reserve bleach for disinfecting restrooms (again, only on non-porous surfaces such as porcelain) or laundering your whites.

What should you use to disinfect instead of bleach?

The first step to finding a new disinfectant solution is verifying its validity to ensure its effectiveness against COVID-19. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of disinfectants approved for killing the coronavirus. Among the list is National Chemical’s CDC-approved Q.A. Sanitizer Disinfectant.

National Chemicals, Inc. is a Minnesota-based manufacturer of cleaning products established in 1947. Their assortment of products developed specifically for commercial foodservices and enterprises help ensure all areas are safe and sanitary for guests and staff.

Their Q.A. concentrated solution is an economical, all purpose sanitizer, disinfectant, and deodorizer that’s safe for use on most hard, non-porous surfaces including floors, walls, bathrooms, cabinets, plastic, stainless steel, porcelain, metal, and ceramic – more versatile than bleach – and has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) when used in accordance with the directions (see below).

The highly concentrated quaternary ammonium formula is safe for use on food contact surfaces, and you can use less than traditional disinfectants, stretching your purchase farther. With only ¼ oz. per gallon, you can easily sanitize food contact surfaces. Disinfect and deodorize other hard surfaces with only ¾ oz. per gallon.

This highly concentrated solution is effective in killing the following bacteria and viruses:

  • Pseudomons aeruginosa
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus aureus Methicilin Resistant (MRSA)
  • Klebsiella pneumonia
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Salmonella typhi
  • Salmonella enterica
  • Shigella sonnei
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Proteus mirablis
  • Enterococcus faecium Vancomycin Resistant (VRE)
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Botrylis cinerea
  • Burkholderia cepacia
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Corynebacterium ammonlagenes
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Hepatitis C Virus
  • HIV-1
  • Influenza A2 Japan Virus
  • Vaccinia Virus
  • Infectious Bronchitis Virus
  • Herpes Simplex Type 1 and Type 2 Virus
  • Human Coronavirus
  • Avian Influenza A H5N1

Directions for Using the National Chemical Q.A. Concentrated Sanitizer Solution

Dilute 4 ounces of the Q.A. concentrate to 5 gallons of water (0.8 ounces per 1 gallon).

  1. Cleanse – thoroughly wash the surface with a cleaner
  2. Rinse the surface with plain water
  3. Disinfect the surface with the diluted Q.A. solution with a clean cloth, sponge, mop, or spray
  4. Allow at least 10 minutes of wet contact time and let air dry
The National Chemical’s Q.A. Disinfectant-Sanitizer can also be used for sanitizing glasses, dishes, and utensils, as well as the interior of ice machines. For detailed instructions on how to use for those purposes, view the label here.

Q.A. Concentrated Solution at Central

32 oz. bottles of the Q.A. Concentrated Disinfecting Solution is available from Central as model #884-003.

It’s also available in some of our Central Exclusive Kits to ensure you have all the essentials for efficient cleaning and disinfecting.

Basic Cleaning Kit

Our Basic Cleaning Kit, model #69K-Y09, includes the Q.A. disinfectant, pack of 12 white cotton cloths, cleaning pail, spray pottle, 2-in-1 sanitizer and cleaner, and chlorine test strips.

Enhanced Cleaning Kit

The Enhanced Cleaning Kit, model #69K-Y10, includes everything in the basic kit, with the additions of a mop handle, head, and bucket.

Complete Cleaning Kit

The Complete Cleaning Kit, model #69K-Y11, includes the QA disinfectant, 2-in-1 cleaner/sanitizer tablets, spray bottle, washcloths, test strips, and a gallon of cleaner.

We also have packages available to help commercial foodservice operations re-open safely, including our complete and enhanced re-open kits (models #69K-Y24 and #69K-Y23, respectively), which feature:
  • Q.A. Concentrated Disinfecting Solution
  • Face Masks and Shields
  • Cleaning Pail
  • Spray Bottle
  • Wash Cloths
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Infrared Thermometer
  • Social Distancing Mats

Everything you need to provide a safe, sanitary experience for your guests and staff.