Beware: Not all biocides are as effective as Benz Bio Cleanze

January 27, 2016 4 Comments

Beware: Not all Biocides are as Good as Benz Biocidal Wash

Just because a car has four wheels and an engine does not make it a BMW.

Similarly, just because a chemical is called a biocide, or "quat" (quaternary ammonium) does not make it comparable to Benz Bio Cleanze.

Quats in general are broken down by the presence of organic matter, particularly proteins that adversely affect their activity. Benzalkonium chloride is a type of quat also known as BZK, BKC, alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride, ADBAC, or BAC. It is a class of low-grade cationic surfactant used in some cheap forms of quat products. 

While quats like BAC (Benzalkonium Chloride) are particularly sensitive to organic matter the high quality twin chain quat of DDAC (Didecyldimethylammonium chloride) used in Bio Cleanze is far less susceptible.

Other advantages of Bio Cleanze compared to BAC

Bio Cleanze is highly effective when used on surfaces that have been pre-cleaned to remove organic matter, although pre-cleaning is not essential (when softwashing roofs with Bio Cleanze for example).

When using quats to treat a surface which has not been pre-cleaned, it is essential that the product is a high-purity DDAC such as Bio Cleanze. It will soak into the surface and re-activate in contact with moisture, ensuring a thorough treatment.

BAC cannot do this because it de-activates rapidly upon use and does not have a high tolerance to hard water, ionic surfactants and organic soiling. 

This property of DDAC makes it more efficient and effective than BAC and provides the consistency of results demanded by soft washing professionals.

The pure DDAC in Bio Cleanze has a particularly high tolerance to organic soiling, hard water and to anionic residuals (chemically complex but essentially negatively charged ions that form hydrogen bonds with water and are forms of soaps), all of which can result in de-activativation of BAC, which does not have these properties.

Quick tip: the propensity of Bio Cleanze to have a high tolerance to previous soap residues (anionic residuals) means that it can be used following a treatment with Benz Lightning Cleanze.

This is not the case with low-grade biocides as the small amount of residual surfactant (soap) left behind by Lightning Cleanze – and especially the  cheap "home chemistry" sodium hypochlorite solutions that use inferior surfactants – would inhibit the effectiveness of the biocide.

The residual effect of Bio Cleanze compared to BAC

The adsorptive* nature of Bio Cleanze means it will bind to the surfaces on which it is applied and offer residual anti-bacterial activity. The fact that surfaces remain clean for longer following a treatment with Bio Cleanze is due is to the combination of pre-cleaning – power washing or treatment with Lightning Cleanze – and subsequent use of Bio Cleanze rather than a low-grade quat such as BAC.

This quality is essential for the successful implementation of the Benz "Clean & Maintain" ongoing softwash maintence system. BAC cannot be used to offer a Clean & Maintain service because its effects do not last long enough.

* The adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid, to a surface.


Why we include IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) in Bio Cleanze

Including a small quantity of IPA gives our product several advantages over the more basic biocides, even those that use a better quality quat than BAC:

  • It enables the fomula to include a full 50% of active ingredient (DDAC). Products made without IPA are limited to a maximum of 40% active ingredient.
  • Brings improved temperature stability in cold weather, preventing the thickening associated with non-IPA products, thus making Bio Cleanze an excellent all year round product.
  • The manufacturing process uses IPA to maintain the solubility and stability of the active ingredient (high purity DDAC).

Quick tip:
At recommended dilution rates, the very small quantity of IPA in Bio Cleanze as applied to a customer's property has zero effect on the silicone in, for example, wall renders and tarmac (even pure undiluted IPA has no lasting effect on silicone).

Some biocides may appear to be cheaper

There are many diluted products on the market. They claim to do a similar job to Bio Cleanze and at first glance may appear to be cheaper.

But the truth is they are very weak and contain only 5-10% active ingredient (which is often only BAC), compared to the 50+% active ingredient of Bio Cleanze. That means they are 90-95% water.

In practice, because Bio Cleanze is so heavily concentrated, it works out up to 150% less expensive than the so-called "cheaper" alternatives.

Remember also that Bio Cleanze

  • Is ph neutral.
    • Is fully biodegradable, breaking down rapidly without "bio-accumulating".
    • Controls biological growths that cause the "dirty" appearance of red, green, and black staining – so surfaces stay cleaner, for longer.
    • Is not affected by hard or mineralised water.

    • Has a long-lasting residual effect that helps prevent re-colonisation of the treated surface.


    Government approvals for biocides

    It is important in today's world to always use products that conform to EU, UK and Irish regulations. Not using government approved biocides could result in prosecution and a contractor's insurance being made invalid.

    Benz Bio Cleanze is fully approved by both the Irish Pesticides Registration & Control Service (PRCD) and the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for use in Ireland and the UK. And it conforms to the Global Harmonised System (GHS) for product labelling.

    The particularly pure grade of DDAC used to create Bio Cleanze is also used to formulate many other products including disinfectants, cleansers and sterilants for:

    • The food and beverage industries
    • Hospitals
    • Household and industrial kitchens
    • Veterinary and institutional applications

    The purity of Benz DDAC is guaranteed by our suppliers to be greater than 95% and is typically 98%. The content of DDAC in the supplied product is typically 50-52% and never drops below 50%.

    We hope this article has helped clarify the reality regarding the most commercially effective and environmentally responsible DDAC biocide that is best suited for professional softwashing.


    Ben, Leo
 & Fiona

    Click here to explore the full range Benz softwash cleaning products

    Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

    4 Responses


    July 16, 2021

    Hi Dominic,

    Protecting your customers grass and plants is simple and easy. Click this link to visit our webpage on which we explain, and demo in a video, the system, we’ve developed:


    July 16, 2021

    Could I ask would your biocide kill grass when spraying around paths and egging around the garden

    Many thanks


    April 02, 2018

    Hi Johan – the active in Benz Biocidal Wash is DDAC, supplied at 50% (the highest concentration possible).



    Johan van Heerden
    Johan van Heerden

    March 30, 2018

    Afternoon, which one of your chemicals that has DDAC as the active ingredient and can be used to fog trailers using a coldfogger? There is a chemical call DESbest 710 that is in use in the Netherlands as a fogging agent to clean trailers. it has 100g/l DDAC as the active

    Kind regards

    Johan van Heerden
    Senior Quality Manager

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