​What role does alcohol play in our cleaning products?

​What role does alcohol play in our cleaning products?

16th Apr 2020

Alcohol in our products

We’ve been receiving quite a few enquiries from our diligent customers and retailers about the alcohol in some of our cleaning products, particularly our Lemon Myrtle Disinfectant Cleaner. Understandably it seems the message the community is focused on at the moment is the amount of alcohol in a cleaning product – specifically, does it contain at least 70% ethanol (alcohol).

The media (and other sources) have been fixated on alcohol as the answer killing germs ­– but there are, in fact, a range of active germ-killing ingredients proven to do that job. And thank goodness for that, because ethanol supplies in Australia are difficult, if not impossible, to come by at the moment!

So, what is the germ-killing ingredient in our Lemon Myrtle Disinfectant Cleaner Concentrate?

The active ingredient in our disinfectant is lauralkonium chloride (aka benzalkonium chloride). It has been determined to be effective against coronaviruses at levels of 0.05%*.

As for our disinfectant – well, it contains far greater than that amount at its most dilute (25ml/litre). We suggest 25-50ml per litre for general cleaning and disinfection and if Covid-19 is present in the household use at 100 ml/litre.

We do have a ethanol listed as an ingredient in our disinfectant, but it’s not there for germ killing. In fact, it’s a small but integral ingredient that ensures the final product is clear, not cloudy.

Alcohol plays other roles in products

So, ethanol in fact has a number of functions, depending on the product. Whilst in hand sanitiser it is there to kill germs, in air freshener it’s used to help the fine mist travel through the air before evaporating. And in our Lemon Myrtle Dishwash liquid, it counteracts the thickening efforts of the surfactant, by thinning the dishwashing liquid to just the right consistency.

So, alcohol aka ethanol is in many of our products, but not necessarily to kill germs. Rest assured, though, that any of our products that claim to be anti-bacterial, or to sanitise, disinfect, or kill germs, have a proven active germ-killing ingredient!

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.