Surface Products FAQ

What is MATGUARD® Surface & Equipment Cleaner?

MATGUARD® Surface & Equipment Cleaners utilize an EPA and Health Canada registered disinfectant / cleaner for hard inanimate environmental surfaces, such as those found in a gym, locker room, weight room, health club, hospital, medical or dental office, ambulatory surgical center, nursing home, laboratory, or a residence.

MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Disinfectant / Cleaner is available in 16 oz. and 32 oz. sprayers, and one gallon bottles.

MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Towelettes are available in a variety of formats, including regular weight and heavy duty wipes, as well as extra large size and textured wipes.

What pathogens are MATGUARD® Surface & Equipment Cleaners effective against?

MATGUARD® is a broad-spectrum disinfectant. In both its liquid form and saturated into towelettes, it is effective against gram negative and gram- positive bacteria, including resistant strains such as MRSA and VRE, encapsulated bacteria such as Tuberculosis, Trichophyton Mentagrophytes the fungus responsible for the spread of Athlete’s Foot, and viruses such as Hepatitis, HIV, Herpes, Influenza, and more.

MATGUARD® is only somewhat effective against spores (i.e. C. difficile) and is therefore not classified as a sterilant or sporicidal. The EPA does not recognize any environmental surface disinfectant as being sporicidal.

What is the difference between MATGUARD® Surface & Equipment Cleaners and Rubbing Alcohol?

Rubbing Alcohol, which can be purchased in any pharmacy contains 70% isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) measured by volume. The only other ingredient in rubbing alcohol is water. The product evaporates quickly and is not recognized by the EPA as a disinfectant solution.

MATGUARD® contains 70% isopropanol measure by weight in combination with a food grade emulsifier, in solution with purified water. MATGUARD® may or may not contain a slight amount of added fragrance, depending on the particular version of the MATGUARD® product.

When these ingredients are combined, in the patented MATGUARD® formula, the emulsifier also acts to slow the evaporation rate of the alcohol, allowing it to act directly on various pathogens to break down their cell walls and denature the cell completely. This physical destruction of the pathogen cell does not permit the development of chemical resistance to MATGUARD®.

The only active ingredient in MATGUARD® is the isopropanol. The emulsifier is not considered to be an inactive ingredient since it is not contributing directly to the destruction of pathogens. The formulation of MATGUARD® may seem somewhat simple, but it has been awarded two United States patents, a Canadian patent, and numerous additional international patents.

MATGUARD® is recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a powerful disinfectant with a very low toxicity profile. Rubbing Alcohol can be useful for cleaning skin but tends to dry the skin with prolonged use. MATGUARD® when used as a skin antiseptic is Drug Listed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The emulsifier in MATGUARD® also serves as an emollient and a humectant, to preserve and restore natural moisture to the skin.

MATGUARD® contains the only EPA registered hard surface disinfectant that contains an alcohol as its only active ingredient. That is due to the patented formulation of MATGUARD®, which cannot be duplicated by any other product.

What does “One Step Clean and Disinfect” mean?

Combination disinfecting and cleaning products can be tested for germicidal efficacy in one of two ways. Testing can be done on pathogens without an organic load (i.e. blood) present, or in the presence of a minimum 5% organic load. Where testing is done without an organic load present, the EPA requires that the product label specify that cleaning and disinfection are two separate steps. Where testing is done in the presence of the required organic load, the EPA permits the product label to designate cleaning and disinfection in a single step.

Heavy soil and contamination (i.e. body fluids) must always be removed first, regardless of the product being used. Decontamination of an HIV infected surface always requires a pre-cleaning step prior to the use of any disinfecting and/or disinfecting and cleaning product.

MATGUARD® was tested in the presence of a 5% organic load and therefore is designated as a “One Step Clean and Disinfect” product.

How many MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Towelettes will I use compared with the competition?

Because MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Towelettes can be used for a “One Step Clean and Disinfect” process, you will need to use fewer MATGUARD® towelettes than you will use with some other brands that are not classified as a one step product. Also, some other products kill only some of the pathogens that MATGUARD® does, requiring the use of multiple products to achieve the same effectiveness as one application of MATGUARD®.

It is a violation of Federal Law to use an EPA registered disinfectant product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. We encourage our customers to read all label directions and to follow the printed instructions for use of MATGUARD® and all disinfectants.

Is MATGUARD® safe for use on most surfaces?

The EPA does not permit any disinfectant to be declared “safe” for use on people, since by definition a disinfectant kills pathogens on the surface being treated. MATGUARD® is compatible with a wide variety of hard surface materials, including those found in the environments where the product is most likely to be used. If there is a question about compatibility it is always a good idea to test MATGUARD® on an inconspicuous area before application over a broader surface. MATGUARD® does not contain any quaternary ammonium compounds, phenols, chlorine, glutaraldehyde, peroxide, acids, or caustic soda, or any substance that may leave a residue, discolor the surface being treated, contribute to allergies to such ingredients, or present risk a toxic reaction.

MATGUARD® is non-staining, and deodorizes the surfaces that it cleans and disinfects.

What if MATGUARD® gets on my hands?

The EPA recognizes the low toxicity of MATGUARD® and therefore does not require any language on the label that suggests that the product requires the use of gloves. The EPA requires a label caution to wash hands after using any alcohol product because of the possibility that a user will touch their eyes while wet with alcohol. If MATGUARD® gets in the eyes the product will sting and may cause some redness, but will not cause any long term damage.

The same formula that is EPA registered as MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface, is also FDA drug listed as an antiseptic spray, an antiseptic foam, and an antiseptic wipe.

Should I still be wearing gloves when using MATGUARD®?

When cleaning and disinfecting an area that may contain harmful pathogens it is always a good idea to wear gloves to prevent cross contamination. Cleaning and disinfecting areas that are suspected to have been contaminated by HIV-1, the AIDS virus, require that full precautions be taken in the cleanup process, including gloves, gown, mask and/or eye coverings.

What is the difference between MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Disinfectant /Cleaner and MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Disinfectant Towelettes?

MATGUARD® Athletic Equipment & Surface Disinfectant Towelettes contain a pre- measured amount of MATGUARD® Disinfectant / Cleaner in each wipe.