EPA releases list of disinfectants  that kill COVID-19

The environmental protection agency released a list of disinfectants that kill COVID-19. That list can be found at this link:


Are any of these cleaning products safe to use on finished gym floors?

MFMA reached out to one of the brightest minds in the industry, Stuart Hughes of Hillyard Industries. Mr. Hughes provided the following insight:

The majority of the disinfectants on the EPA list for large surface areas are based upon Quaternary ammonium chloride blends and dilute to concentrations in the 600-1,000 parts per million range. These items used according to their labels should not damage the current products used for MFMA sports floors, however, repeated use could begin to build upon the floor and need to be removed during or prior to the recoating of the floor. Typically a neutral pH general-purpose cleaner is sufficient to remove the Quat when used in a reasonable manner. 

For direct blood spills and smaller area cleaner, ready-to-use disinfectants may be used that are slightly higher in the parts per million (ppm) concentration and may contain additional items that make them more aggressive, but those ingredients should still not permanently damage the finish. They may leave a slight film that can be wiped away or removed through a light amount of water or neutral pH cleaner and microfiber cloths.

There are quite a few additional items that are based upon hydrogen peroxide that potentially could cause some damage if allowed extended contact with newly installed or raw wood that hasn’t had enough finish applied to envelop the floor and edges, but that should also be a pretty rare instance. It would be more likely to occur in a home setting where the homeowner is a bit overzealous in scrubbing. These items should also be able to be removed in the recoating process if a pre-cleaning step is done as a preventative step. 

The harsh items are the Clorox (bleach) materials which are stabilized at a high pH level (the high pH can cause damage or discoloration to some coatings) or very low acid-based materials that shouldn’t be used but get out on the floor by mistake or desperation. Another potentially harsh item is the Marguard type based upon Peroxyacetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. That type is pretty aggressive and is easily identified due to a pretty strong vinegar fragrance.

If they try to stay in the general line of a neutral pH quaternary ammonium chloride-based choice and be sure to let the floor refinisher know they have been using those items, a good pre-clean before screening/abrading will get the job done with little issue.