Cleaning and Disinfecting Claims of Surface Cleaners – how true are they?

We use these for cleaning hard surfaces such as floors, laminated table tops, kitchen table tops and cabinets. While removal of dirt and stain is what is expected of these products, today we have various brands claiming to contain antibacterial/disinfecting agents, otherwise known as quaternary ammonium compounds. Apparently, these improvised products not only clean the surface superficially but also reduce the bio-burden (harmful bacteria) and help to keep the environment clean due to the effect of the antibacterial agents. Without getting caught up in the technicalities, let’s just find out some important things about the brands that claim to do the job more effectively. We tested eight brands on attributes that determine their efficacy. Do these fulfil the basic requirements specified in the national standard?

Brands Tested: Lizol, Clean Mate, Vow, Patanjali, Presto, Mopz, Mr Muscle, CIF

We tested the brands on quality and acceptability parameters. These included quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) content, cleaning properties, pH level, stability, non-volatile matter, odour and colour. Of the eight brands, six are QAC-based.

The samples were tested as per specifications in Indian Standard 14364: 1996 (reaffirmed in 2013) related to quaternary ammonium compound-based surface cleaners. We followed the standard test methods at an NABL-accredited laboratory.

Parameters Compared

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