Benzalkonium Chloride

Benzalkonium Chloride

Learn all about benzalkonium chloride 0.1%, including how it's made, its safety, and why it's used in a variety of personal products.
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  • Pronunciation: \ ˌben-zal-ˈkō-nē-əm\ \ ˈklȯr-ˌīd\
  • Type: Synthetic

What Is Benzalkonium Chloride 0.1%?

Benzalkonium chloride 0.1% is a yellowish or white powder or gelatinous substance that's soluble in alcohol, acetone, and water.[1,4]

What Does Benzalkonium Chloride Do?

Benzalkonium chloride is an antiseptic and disinfectant that helps prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungi.[2,3] It's often found in foaming hand sanitizers, soaps, and nasal sprays, and other products to eradicate 99.9% of bacteria and microbes.

Note: Some studies indicate the ingredient may be an eye irritant in certain concentrations.[4,5]

How Benzalkonium Chloride Is Made

Benzalkonium chloride is a "quaternary ammonium compound" that can be sourced from methylating primary amine from a fatty acid (or a blend of fatty acids). The resulting dimethyl alkylamine is then quaternized with benzyl chloride.[2,4]


[1] World Health Organization International Programme on Chemical Safety
[2] DrugBank Canada
[3] European Medicines Agency
[4] Journal of the American College of Toxicology
[5] European Medicines Agency