I would imagine that people – perhaps even you – who use disinfectants hear the word “quats” quite frequently. But do you know what quats are?
“Quats” is short for quaternary ammonium compounds, which are similar to ammonium ions in structure. Just instead of being 4 hydrogens surrounding 1 nitrogen, they have 4 R groups. Now these R groups can be many different things, but still be a quaternary ammonium compound. They can either be an alkyl group, which is a chain of carbons and hydrogens or they can be an aryl group, which is a ring of carbons and hydrogens. These chains and rings can also contain other molecules, such as oxygen.
Different quats have different functions because of the variety of R groups that they can have. The different combinations of rings, chains, carbons, hydrogens, and other elements give each quat its own functionality. This is why there are so many quats that are used in cleaners and disinfectants. Quats tend to have antimicrobial properties, making them valuable as disinfectants. They work in a variety of ways to disrupt cell membranes, inactivate energy-producing enzymes, or denature essential proteins in the microbes, effectively killing them.
The problem is that quats also have the potential to add to the growing number of resistant bacteria and they make poor cleaners. When a quat-based disinfectant is used to clean, some of the quats get left behind on the surface as a residue. This residue builds up on the surface, causing it to look dull and grimy. Over time this accumulated grime will make the surface look dirty even after being cleaned and it will attract even more dirt to it! So the various microbes may be dead, but the surface will look dirty, and who wants that?
Lastly, if you ever wonder about the really long names that quats have, it is just a way for chemists to remember the structure of the molecule. By breaking down the name, they can easily draw out the molecule’s structure and from that know how it will behave!
If you find this information useful and want to know more, let us know in the comments!
Last time we posted about Charles Granville, we left off with his idea of perfumed snow, which was just one of many ideas he had. While Granville was in charge of Angelique, he used very creative methods to promote his perfume.
During the first few years of business, Granville orchestrated many stunts to promote his perfume. Angelique started out with just one perfume, Black Satin. So, when they came out with a new perfume, White Satin, they needed an effective way to promote it. Granville came up with the idea to have a plane fly over Wilton and scatter strips of blotter soaked in the scent! This got his perfume the attention he was aiming for. So much that it is still remembered today, like many of his promotional ideas.
Granville chose to celebrate Angelique’s first profitable month in June 1948 with a perfume bombing of LA. He got 12 Beechcraft Bonanzas mobilized, each with a pilot and a “bombardierette.” They dropped “bombs” by spraying perfume out of the airplane as they flew overhead! It is said that the scent didn’t really reach the ground, but they got plenty of publicity from it. Shortly after this, Granville started using machines to pump out perfumed bubbles; he had them sent all over the country for stores to use to promote his perfume. Granville even had perfume delivered in the form of a gigantic Easter egg by a helicopter!
The next big event occurred in 1959, when Granville was promoting Angelique’s newest perfume, Red Satin. He arranged for a flotilla of his friends’ yachts to form a square-mile formation off of Miami, on the Gulf Stream, and dump the perfume into the current. His goal was to have the scented “red mile” of water to reach the shores of England, bringing a lovely smell to them around Christmas time. Unfortunately, it is believed that the scent never did reach England. But it did puzzle ships’ crews in the Atlantic for some weeks after!
A couple of years later, in 1962 Charles Granville made the decision to sell Angelique. Then in 1967, he founded Celeste, where he continued to use his ideas to give the company the foundation it needed to last.
To be continued…