Trifectant is an FDA and EPA approved disinfectant that contains Potassium Peroxymonosulfate as the main ingredient. Trifectant is a popular disinfectant that is known for its enhanced effectiveness against feline calicivirus and ringworm in comparison to other top disinfectants that are on the market. Works on all dog diseases too such as parvovirus. It is comparable to bleach in terms of strength. It is the most used disinfectant by some of the top cat rescues in the world. Great for boarding businesses that board cats too!
Trifectant Literally Has It All
- Pet safe
- Does not corrode
- Easy to make
- Cheap to utilize
- Can do laundry and mopping
- One step disinfectant
- Has detergent like properties
- Easy to identify by the color
- Works to spot clean cages
- Kills most bacteria in 5 mins
- Works on “most” fabrics
- Safe on most carpet and wood
In fact, Trifectant is one of the top two recommended disinfectants to use against panleukopenia, ringworm and calicivirus. The other top disinfectant is Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP). I will come out and say that my favorite disinfectant is Trifectant followed by Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide. I have no third favorite because I am firm in my belief that these two disinfectants are both affordable and effective to utilize in most shelters or rescues.
I have used this disinfectant for years and still do at the cat rescue I am the director of. I will say that AHP is faster at disinfection and smells equally as nice but can be more expensive so I recommend it for facilities that have the extra money to spend or for small shelters/rescues. I do like the idea of having AHP just in the case of an outbreak or in the situation you need to disinfect something quickly – it is never a bad idea to have both disinfectants.
Trifectant is best advertised as a one-step cleaner since it has both disinfectant and detergent properties in it at the same time. Being a one-step cleaner – Trifectant will save a substantial amount of time for staff to allocate toward other important shelter tasks like adoption and marketing.
Trifectant is safe to spray around animals is very effective against surfaces that cannot be completely cleaned prior to disinfection. Surfaces that are rusted or filled with dirt and grime (inorganic matter) which are hard to remove can benefit from cleaning with a detergent based disinfectant. This is one of the select few disinfectants that can somewhat disinfect past inorganic matter like sneeze spots from a cat who had upper respiratory infection which offers additional security.
Trifectant is available in a 10 pound pail of powder or in a 50 tablet container. The 10 pound pail will make 123 gallons of Trifectant solution while the 50 tablet container will make roughly 12 gallons. The pail option is much cheaper if you will use more than 12 gallons of disinfectant per year. I prefer to use the pail for animal shelters the tablets for foster homes – but you the shelter can always send home powder since it is more cost efficient to buy it in bigger amounts as opposed to tablets.
The tablet version is diluted by using one tablet per pint of water and the powder form is diluted by using one scoop per gallon of water. The powder is pink and final solution will be yellow in color. The undiluted Trifectant powder can turn clothes pink so it is advised to utilize a funnel for the purpose of dilution. I just use a funnel and have never had an issue.
Trifectant is good for seven whole days after you prepare the solution at which time it should be replaced. Allowing Trifectant to sit out for more than 7 days can result in the mixture becoming toxic to people and animals. If you use two gallons of disinfectant per week, you can make each pail of Trifectant last around eight months which is fantastic for the price. Each pail of Trifectant will cost around $100 to $120, which is roughly around $1 per gallon.
Some small cat rescues prefer to mix only a 32 ounce bottle at a time since they do not use a ton of it which makes it go up to one or two years based on how small you are. Simply figure out the math based on the product insert on how much powder to add for what you want to achieve.
How to Use Trifectant
Trifectant can be applied using a spray bottle or it can be poured into a tote for dunking items in. Regardless of the way you choose to disinfect, you must allow the solution to sit for ten whole minutes. This disinfectant can be used on anything, and it will not corrode objects like bleach does. There is actually no reason to need bleach when you are using this at your facility. This disinfectant will provide accurate disinfection in a consistent manner regardless of where you decide to use it.
Many people ask if this product can be used on fabric, carpet and wood. I have used it extensively on all three surfaces including couches, cat trees, sofas and love seats. I have even used it on hard wood and tile. I have never seen any negative effects over my five years plus of using this product. I would always test it on a small area first just to make sure that it is safe before using it extensively which is what I recommend with any product being used for the very first time.
Trifectant is very good smelling and non-harmful to adults and children which is an incentive for young volunteers to come in and volunteer at a shelter. People who are sensitive to other disinfectant usually do not have problems with this one. Trifectant does not need to be rinsed when cleaning cages but performing this task is preferred. While Trifectant does work very well on dirty items – it is very important to make sure everything is pre-cleaned first before applying a disinfectant for optimal effectiveness.
My preferred way to clean dishes is to pre-clean with dawn dish soap and rigorous scrubbing followed up by rinsing the detergent. Finally I spray the litter boxes and bowls in the sink with the disinfectant and allow it to sit for 10 whole minutes before I rinse again and allow the items to air dry. You may also fill up a small bucket or tote with the solution and allow items to be submerged for 10 minutes which is likely to work better but can be more pricey.
Any disinfectant that is used will require pre-cleaning first which is when the item is scrubbed with dish detergent to remove organic matter then rinsed to remove detergent residues. Detergent residues are well known for inhibiting or preventing disinfectants from working at full strength.
The Trifectant can be applied to the surface after the surface is completely dry following the rinsing of the detergent water. This part is optional for Trifectant but the extra detergent cleaning and rinsing has been speculated as being helpful in eliminating all traces of the most common cat diseases – especially if you scrub really well. Dish detergent often does have very good grime removal ability that exceeds most detergent based disinfectants. A degreaser solution can also be helpful if there are a ton of sneezing spots.
Is Trifectant Right For You?
All of the opinions in this article are based on my own experience and research into the top disinfectants during my work at various animal shelters. I also took a shelter management course which furthered my education in disinfectant use and reading the ingredients to determine how effective they actually are. In addition – I have also used RODAC plates and glo-germ to backup my claims on every remark I have made in regards to disinfectants.
Trifectant is an excellent choice for any animal shelter wanting to choose a cheap, effective, and time saving disinfectant for their staff to use. Trifectant is extremely easy to make for staff who have not had any formal training in the animal care field and it only has to be made once a week so it improves compliance with staff tremendously. This is my favorite characteristic of this disinfectant. I have recommended this disinfectant to many shelters which went on to significantly decrease their illness rates.
I will cover the reason that I do not like quaternary ammonium compound based disinfectants in another article. Examples include Rocal and Triple-Two. They do not have good efficacy against calicivirus or panleukopenia as claimed on the labels which can have negative results for the shelter and adopters. The only other fair option is bleach or pool shock which will work and are cheap but do not exactly cover all of the other preferred qualities in a disinfectant that would be used long term.
You will also rest assured that this disinfectant is safe for all people and animals that it will come in contact with as previously stated which is priority number one. Trifectant is about the best cleaner you can use to spot clean cages which is also important when you want to keep animals happy and healthy. I will cover this in a later article too. You can cut cost on many things in animal rescue but your disinfectant should never be one of those things.