Effective Hand Sanitizing – FOAM N’ GO shows more than one way to get there!

The regulating agency for hand sanitizers is the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Some think it is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the final authority is the FDA. The FDA regulates hand sanitizers as “over the counter” drugs (OTC), similar to aspirin and other common pain relievers. In the case of Hand Sanitizers, there are three active ingredients that are approved which are 1) Benzalkonium chloride (BZK), 2) Ethanol (ethyl alcohol), and 3) Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. All three actives have the SAME drug claim which is “reduces bacteria on the skin”. It is evident that FDA considers these three active ingredients equivalent for purposes of “reducing bacteria on the skin”. Since the level of user knowledge around BZK products is generally not as high as alcohol products, we will examine properties and mechanisms of BZK Hand Sanitizers (represented by our product FOAM N’ GO) in more detail.

It is well accepted that quaternary ammonium chlorides such as the BZK used in FOAM N’ GO are very effective at killing bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. They also are effective at inactivating enveloped viruses such as Hepatitis B and “Human Coronavirus” at very low concentrations (less than 0.08%). FDA regulations for Leave-On Hand Sanitizers require a minimum of 0.1% benzalkonium chloride (1000 ppm), which is a higher concentration than EPA recognizes as effective for Hard Surface Disinfectants for killing bacteria and inactivating viruses. By comparison, the Hospital Grade Disinfectant 4CQ PLUS when diluted properly yields 850 ppm of “quat”. This makes Foam ‘N Go as active as diluted 4CQ Plus.

In thickened alcohol gels, an alkaline pH is required to “activate” the thickening properties. In terms of skin pH (typically 4.2 – 5.6) the residue left by the activator/thickener system leaves the skin pH at a level up to 100X more alkaline than the normal skin pH. This creates two problems as follows:

  • Intact skin is a phenomenally effective protective barrier. The combination of skin oils and perspiration (referred to as the “acid mantle”) serves a variety of functions which include prevention of attack by sun and wind and leaves the skin less prone to dehydration. For healthy skin, the acid mantle inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi. Alkaline residues on the skin attack the protective functionality of the acid mantle.
  • Thickened alcohol gels become less effective with continued use. They leave behind a polymer/biofilm residue which traps and feeds surviving bacteria, leading to decreasing performance with use. Further, while gelling an alcohol product slows the rate of evaporation somewhat, the fast evaporation of alcohols limits effectiveness in-use. The slightly longer dry time of FOAM N’ GO ensures that it achieves actual anti-microbial effectiveness in-use. While the FDA does not allow for residual efficacy claims, this property is recognized in published studies and can be summarized by noting that alcohol evaporates, benzalkonium chloride doesn’t.

Alcohol hand sanitizers are flammable with flash points as low as 60 degrees F, while BZK products are non-flammable. Additionally, alcohol hand sanitizers are responsible for dozens of cases requiring hospitalization each year due to children drinking them. They are very effective at removing skin oils, leaving hands dry with repeated use. Contrast this with BZK FOAM N’ GO which produces a fast drying, non-sticky foam that contains unique non-drying conditioning and moisturizing ingredients, leaving the skin with a soft, refreshing and silky after feel. Combine all of the above facts and it is evident that FOAM N’ GO provides safe and effective hand sanitizing, showing that there truly is more than one way to get there.

Mighty Boy HD Degreasers – HD Emulsifying vs. HD Butyl

When choosing a water based degreaser, Continental offers two excellent choices from our Mighty Boy line: Heavy Duty Emulsifying Degreaser and Heavy Duty Butyl.

Some of the features which distinguish these products are:

  • A water soluble solvent is added in to the HD Butyl formula. This increases its speed in dissolving and removing soils on a variety of surfaces, making it very useful in spray cleaning applications.
  • HD Butyl also has a very substantial alkaline builder system incorporated into it. This acts as a “hammer” to knock oily soils loose quickly and effectively, again contributing to the speed of soil removal. This alkaline system is powerful enough to allow the product to have dual use as a floor finish stripper!
  • HD Butyl incorporates a low foam surfactant system, making for a very free-rinsing product.
  • HD Emulsifying Degreaser uses a different approach, combining a foaming surfactant with a buffered alkaline system. While this approach is generally not as “speedy” as HD Butyl, it does provide excellent oil and grease “eating” capacity. This comes in handy for use in applications that don’t require a great deal of speed, such as manual mopping and spot cleaning of oily surfaces.
  • HD Emulsifying Degreaser also uses an alkaline system that is built with “reserve” alkalinity. This allows it to work past the point of the initial introduction onto the surface being cleaned. Again this approach is not as “speedy” but certainly is very thorough at removing “oil bound” soils from the surface.

If soil conditions require removal of a heavy load of oil/grease by manual processes, try Mighty Boy HD Emulsifying Degreaser

If maximum speed is desired and you are pressure washing or steam cleaning, try Mighty Boy HD Butyl

Remember there is plenty of functional overlap between these two products, so these recommendations should be taken as a general guideline.

What is the best practice to avoid spills and drips when changing out GreaseMeister refills in the Continuous Dispenser?

When you go to replace the product refill, the first thing to do is to switch the Interval Switch (same as power switch) to “RESET/OFF”. This will prevent any spillage from the dispenser trying to trigger the product flow while you are working on it to replace the refill. After the switch is in the “OFF” Position, ease the bottom of the refill package out and forward (towards you) and gently pull it out of the receptor hole in the actuator. Replace with new package by holding the refill at a 45 degree angle and easing the package up and back (away from you) until it is firmly seated in place in the dispenser. Then turn the Interval Switch back over to 7.5 *PREFERRED SETTING* to continue operation automatically.

Since we are dealing with liquids, it is also a good practice to have a rag with you when changing out chemical containers so that drips,etc. can be addressed right when they happen.

What is the best way to treat spots & stains with our spot & stain remover products?

If the spot is still wet, blot up as much as possible by repeatedly pressing a clean cloth onto the stained area. If on a carpet, place the clean cloth on the spot and step on it to remove as much liquid as possible. This is important – everything you remove before spraying the product is just less you’ll need to deal with. Then spray spot and agitate with cloth or brush, working from the outer edges of the spot inward to avoiding spreading it out. Follow up by blotting as much of the broken up staining material as possible.

If the spot is dried out, rewet by spraying an appropriate spotter onto it allowing a minute or so of time to rewet. Blot, spray, agitate and final blot the area as outlined in the above example. Avoid over-wetting the spot with spotter product as this can cause issues with re-soiling later.

What is the difference between the various spotters and stain removers that are in the Continental Research line?

They are each built in a different way to target certain types of soils as follows:

  • Can Do – water based formula for both fabric and hard surfaces. Recommended for food soils, light oils, etc. Can also be diluted and used for “bonnet” shampoo with a floor machine.
  • Dr. Spot – water based all purpose spotter – good choice to start with if you don’t know what the stain is.
  • Fiber Swipe – wipes format general purpose spotter product. Low residue for minimal resoiling.
  • Lift Off – water based but with greater solvent content than most. Good for oily, greasy soils.
  • OX-E2-Power Spot & Stain – contains hydrogen peroxide to help remove and ‘de-colorize’ highly colored stains such as juices, wine, ketchup. Also with natural citrus solvent for grease breakdown during removal.

What is the difference between Melt Away, Melt Away Thermosyn, Melt Away Plus, and Melt Away De-Icer?

Primary differences are temperature operating range and product form. Details follow:

  • Melt Away is our premium ice melter compound. It operates down to -25ºF and generates heat on contact with snow, ice or water. This pelletized ice melter comes packaged in a convenient re-closable plastic pail and leaves no powdery mess after use.
  • Melt Away Thermosyn is a synergized workhorse granular ice melter. Operating down to -21ºF, it contains Color Trace crystals to allow uniform application and cost effectiveness by minimizing waste. Melt Away Thermosyn is available in both a 40 pound re-closable pail and in 50 pound bags.
  • Melt Away Plus is a concentrated liquid ice melter. It is convenient to use and can be applied through a variety of sprayer mechanisms at temperatures down to -25F. It is non-flammable and non-corrosive and eliminates residue and ‘winter burn’ caused by some granular products.
  • Melt Away De-Icer is a fast acting aerosol spray that is great for melting ice on windshields, mirrors, door locks and other critical areas. It melts ice and snow rapidly and is safe for enamel paints, glass, chrome, rubber and concrete.

What is the fastest way to remove scale, hard water residues, rust, etc. from urinal and toilets?

Fastest way there is to go with strong acids, like ABC. If a customer had Super Ox on hand they could do that as well. If the residues are not excessive (like maybe in a shower) use of a lesser powdered acid solution (like Scale Away) would be in order. The downsides to use of strong acid solutions is that they do give off fumes (especially in humid conditions) which are very annoying and potentially dangerous. Obviously they are also dangerous to get on your skin and eyes. But they are the fastest way to go. NOTE: Always wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with strong acids and read the label and SDS before use.

How does Creeper Lube work?

Creeper Lube combines varying elements of the formula to provide not notch lubrication in the tightest spaces. These elements are: Lubricating grease, carrier solvent, and surfactants. When the Creeper Lube is sprayed onto a surface (like a chain) it comes out of the can thin and penetrating. This happens because it is dispersed into the carrier solvent to make it thin and has surfactants added to reduce the surface tension. As it penetrates into tiny cracks and crevices by capillary action helped along by the surfactants, the carrier solvent is evaporating, making it thicker. It is still penetrating at this point due to the presence of the surfactants in the product. After all the carrier solvent evaporates, the product sets up as a tacky grease that would not have penetrated to where it did without the carrier solvent. This durable film of grease then stays where it is placed and provides excellent lubrication.

How does Mighty Boy Stain Sucker work?

Mighty Boy Stain Sucker is formulated with surfactants which lower the surface tension of the product. It also has a whiting agent in it to allow it to dry to a powder. When applied to a porous surface like stained concrete, the lower surface tension allows it to penetrate into the pores of the concrete and loosen up the stain. This is drawn up to the surface by “wicking” action during the drying of the product remaining on the surface. When completely dry the wicking stops and the product residue is swept off or flushed away along with the stain material which was pulled out of the pores of the concrete.

What weed killer would you use to spray along a fence line that won’t spread out and kill more grass than you were intending to?

Contact II is perfect for this application. It can be used both in ponds and on land and when mixed at 16 ounces per gallon of water (for land use), it will give a non-selective kill of all vegetation it contacts. Because it is inactivated upon contact with soil, it will not spread out and kill more vegetation than you wanted to – it will only kill where you put it. Products like Contact II are sometimes called “liquid trimmers” due to their ability to provide precision results. NOTE: areas treated with Contact II should not be watered (or rained on) for 24-36 hours after application, so be careful about the weather when planning to apply Contact II.