There are two commonly used chemical sanitizers used in food establishments, either for preparing a three-compartment sink or a sanitizer bucket.

  1. Chlorine (Bleach)*
    Concentration: 50- to 100 ppm, with a test strip.
    Chlorine-based sanitizers are the most commonly used sanitizers. Typical preparation is 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach per gallon of water. This sanitizer requires at least a 30-second soaking time to be effective on food-contact surfaces. Chlorine bleach is less effective in hot water and it works best at a temperature range of 55°F to75°F.
    *Do not use splashless, scented, non-chlorine or color safe bleach.
  2. Quaternary Ammonia (QUAT)
    Concentration: 200 ppm or per manufacturer’s instruction, with a test strip.
    Quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT) in diluted form are odorless, colorless, and nontoxic. Advantages of QUAT solutions are that they leave a residual antimicrobial film, are stable at high temperatures (see manufacturer instructions), and are more effective in the presence of soil than is a chlorine solution. A longer contact time is needed with the QUAT sanitizer (i.e., for 1 minute). Follow the manufacturer’s label instructions to prepare QUAT.