EMBARGOED UNTIL: Tuesday 5/21, 1 PM MDT
(Poster Session 210, Paper 2552)
Kimberly Clark Corporation
Neenah, WI, United States
Public and household surfaces are reservoirs for millions of germs that cause illness. There are a variety of products available that disinfect and sanitize these surfaces. One major limitation of these products is that they fail to protect these surfaces from subsequent contaminations throughout the day. Therefore, there is a need for a product that can protect a surface from germs for up to 24 hours. In this research, antimicrobials were successfully combined with controlled release polymers to make a spray disinfectant that also provides long-lasting sanitizing protection to a surface.
This innovation was championed by Kimberly-Clark Corporation in their vision of leading the world in essentials for a better life. The research resulted in a new-to-the-world product, Scott* 24 hour Sanitizing Spray, being launched May 2013 to support The Healthy Workplace Project* (http://www.healthyworkplaceproject.com) and The Healthy Schools Project* (http://www.thehealthyschoolsproject.com) by KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL*. These programs educate and encourage employees and students to follow the HYGENIFY!* Program, using three easy steps to help break the chain of germ transmission. It’s the first patent-pending program specifically designed to combat germs throughout the workplace or school – in common areas, conference rooms, classrooms, and other places germs are spread. The HYGENIFY!* program goes beyond the restroom and uses a comprehensive range of sustainable, hygienic products to wash, wipe, sanitize; helping to create a healthier environment.
In the first phase of this research, Kimberly-Clark Corporation scientists sought to develop an antimicrobial mixture that was fast, broad spectrum, and worked in the presence of dirt that is common to many surfaces. Antimicrobial agents such as peroxides, quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC), and surfactants are effective, but when used alone, each has a weakness that will not meet the requirements of an effective product. An antimicrobial package was designed that combined multiple kill agents in a stable composition. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that peroxide and a carbonate QAC was the best antimicrobial package for this application. This antimicrobial package provides rapid germ disinfection with the potential for long-lasting protection.
The next phase of the research focused on the longevity of the antimicrobials on a surface. The team hypothesized that combining the antimicrobial package with a controlled release polymer may allow the antimicrobials to be released slowly over time, giving the desired effect of long-lasting protection. In order to test this idea, over 300 compositions were prepared by mixing the antimicrobial package with a variety of controlled release polymers. The compositions were screened for the ability to kill a minimum of 99.9% of bacteria after repeated contamination. The most effective compositions were then screened for aesthetic properties and formulation stability.
The final result was a spray product that is able to disinfect bacteria, fungi and viruses in 6 minutes or less. More importantly, this spray provides long-lasting 24 hour sanitization protection to surfaces, even after multiple abrasion and contamination cycles. Scott* 24 hour Sanitizing Spray is patent-pending and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. This research is being presented at the American Society of Microbiology in Denver, CO on May 21, 2013.