HydroSal® BKC

PID# 7019

Antiseptic technology for alcohol-free applications

  • Alcohol-free water-based formula that is skin friendly.
  • Increased safety and handling, non-flammable, and easy to formulate.
  • Longer-Lasting protection.
  • Release on-demand, making the biocidal activity turned on with moisture (i.e. perspiration or wet area) at the proximate location.

About Benzalkonium Chloride

Benzalkonium Chloride (BKC) is a cationic organic quaternary ammonium compound with biocidal properties (destroys) and also inhibits growth of microorganisms on the skin and other surfaces. It is a fast-acting agent used for protecting the skin from microbes, pathogens, bacteria, some viruses, fungi, and protozoa. It has consistently been the disinfectant of choice for hospitals.

BKC is used as both an antiseptic and as a disinfectant. It is antiseptic when applied to the body and disinfectant when applied to non living, hard surfaces, such as countertops, door knobs and handrails.

Solutions of BKC are bacteriostatic or bactericidal according to their concentration. Its activity depends on the available concentration of BKC at the location, the surfactant concentration, and on the bacterial concentration (inoculum) at the moment of the treatment.

Encapsulated BKC

HydroSal® BKC is encapsulated BKC technology was designed to achieve better utilization of BKC. BKC is a very water-soluble ingredient and when it becomes diluted it gets washed off from surfaces and, therefore, the efficacy will be reduced.

The incorporation of HydroSal® BKC technology, as a raw material, makes it easy to produce finished products that are more skin friendly and totally alcohol free. In a 1998 study using the FDA protocol, a non-alcohol sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient met the FDA performance standards, while a popular alcohol-based sanitizer, did not. The study found that the benzalkonium chloride-based sanitizer performed better than the alcohol-based hand sanitizer after repeated use.

HydroSal® BKC is an encapsulation technology comprised of sub-micron spheres approximately 0.1 to 0.3 microns in diameter. These spheres are infused with BKC and form a clear product. The polymeric structure is suspendable in water. When HydroSal® BKC is applied on a surface, it forms a thin, invisible film that retains the BKC. The release of BKC is triggered with moisture at the applied area.


HydroSal® BKC can be used as an active ingredient in many consumer products, including:

  • Personal care products such as hand sanitizers, wet wipes, shampoos, deodorants and cosmetics
  • Skin antiseptics
  • Mouthwashes, as a biocide
  • Over-the-counter single-application treatments for herpes, cold-sores, and fever blisters
  • Spray disinfectants for hard surface sanitation
  • Cleaners for floor and hard surfaces as a disinfectant
  • Algaecides for clearing algae, moss, lichens from paths, roof tiles, swimming pools, masonry, etc.
  • A preservative; typical concentrations range from 0.004% to 0.01%


Superior longevity from application

Prolonging the protection is crucial for proper assurance. In a clinical study, volunteers (n=8) applied moisturizing lotion on hands, containing HydroSal® BKC while another group applied free BKC at the same level. The level of BKC residing on the skin was monitored over 6 hours. BKC was removed from the skin by a method of alcohol extraction followed by HPLC analysis.

HydroSal® technology provides a longer-lasting residence of BKC on the skin. The encapsulation retains more BKC on the skin compared with free BKC.

A clinical study shows that a leave-on skin lotion containing HydroSal® BKC technology provides greater retention of BKC on the skin for six hours than a lotion with Free BKC.

Enhanced deposition from rinse-off

HydroSal® technology increases the deposition of BKC onto the skin from a rinse-off application, such as a body wash. In a consumer testing set, volunteers were asked to wash their hands with a commercial wash base containing either HydroSal® BKC or Free BKC.

Dosage: All samples used 0.1% BKC, which is the maximum concentration of benzalkonium chloride that does not produce primary irritation on intact skin or act as a sensitizer.

HydroSal® BKC deposited over 20% more BKC on the skin than a commercial body wash containing free BKC. Volunteers (n=8) washed their forearms and rinsed with water. The skin was extracted with alcohol and analyzed with HPLC to determine the level of BKC residue on the skin.

Long-lasting protection

Hydrosal® BKC is effective immediately upon application and has the potential to protect for longer periods.

The extended protection results from the property of the shell, which is able to assemble and lock-in the BKC. Once the treated surface comes into contact with water, after drying out, the shell dissolves and releases the BKC. This feature allows the system to provide maximum protection in areas that are exposed to cycles of dampness and dryness, like underarms, feet and home areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms.


In September 2016, the FDA announced a ban on nineteen ingredients in consumer antibacterial soaps citing a lack of evidence for safety and effectiveness. A ban on three additional ingredients, including benzalkonium chloride, was deferred to allow ongoing studies to be completed.

Benzalkonium chloride is classified as a Category III antiseptic active ingredient by the USA FDA. Ingredients are categorized as Category III when “available data are insufficient to classify as safe and effective, and further testing is required”.



Please see the video and formula below for an in-depth look at the wash formula.




Technical Data

Appearance @ 20°C
Partly translucent liquid
Suitable for sanitizers, disinfectants, anti-acne applications such as lotions and sprays, mouth washes and cleansers
pH (1 % solution)
6 ± 1
BKC Assay (HPLC) (Wt.%) 20 ± 2
Shelf Life (months) 18
Usage Level (wt%)
Storage (°C)
Closed container at 12-32°

Wash Formula

(W/W %)
HS BKC PID#: 7019-01
Natural Unscented Shampoo/Body Wash Base

Spray Formula

(W/W %)
HS BKC PID#: 7019-01