High-dilution germ-killing actives for Lysol® and Dettol®

Funding Agency:
Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is seeking alternative germ-killing actives to quaternary ammonium for use in Lysol and Dettol that are equally effective at low concentrations, high dilutions, and direct replacement volumes.

RB is a global consumer products company that operates a portfolio of leading household brands in nutrition, health and hygiene, including popular disinfectants Lysol and Dettol. First introduced in 1889, Lysol products can be found in half of all U.S. homes, while Dettol is sold in more than 120 countries. Both Lysol and Dettol come in a variety of formats, from sprays and wipes to soaps and detergents. Over the years, these products have fought germs using a range of active ingredients, including quaternary ammonium, or “quats”. Known for their potency at very low concentrations, quats are effective at killing germs at concentrations of 2.4% and dilutions of 1:125 or more. For this reason, quats remain the active ingredient in laundry detergents, which undergo significant dilution during the wash cycle, while sprays, wipes and other formats have transitioned to alternatives. As consumers demand more natural solutions, we are looking for alternatives.

At RB we strive to give consumers safe and effective solutions to kill all types of germs. With that in mind, we are seeking innovative technologies and approaches that can deliver equal or more effective germ-kill than quats in low concentrations, high dilutions, and at comparable formula volumes and are effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and/or yeast. Proposed technologies will be assessed based on meeting industry standards, regulatory, cost and supply considerations, and the ability to be used on fabrics without any deleterious effects. Solutions of interest include:

  • Technologies that fully replace quats
  • Technologies that use quats at low levels (<1%) in combination with an alternative active ingredient





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Translational