Battling COVID-19 necessitates proper disinfection, but it can be surprising to learn that some disinfectants aren’t created with safety in mind. Rayne Guest, Founder and CEO of R-Water, faced pushback from a major healthcare group when she presented her disinfectant, TK60. Despite lab reports showing that it could kill 100% of tested germs within a minute, the response was derisive.
“A board member looked at me, grinned, and without skipping a beat said, ‘Young lady, now why would we want to disinfect better? That’s a repeat customer,’” Guest recounted.
Hearing such a negative reaction could have been discouraging, but it inspired her to continue her mission to change the disinfection industry from the inside with products that were safe, effective and eco-friendly.
A New Approach to Disinfection
When picturing a bottle of disinfectant, many people think of individually packaged bottles made in facilities and shipped to customers. R-Water offers a different method. A R-Water device is installed directly on-site for consumer use. It dispenses the company’s two EPA and FDA compliant products: TK60, a disinfectant, and FC+, an all-purpose cleaner. All it requires is water, salt and electricity to create these solutions that are immediately ready for use.
Two products: TK60 and FC+
TK60, or Total Kill in 60 Seconds, has a simple chemical compound. It consists of 99.98% water and 0.02% hypochlorous acid, which is completely nontoxic. Hypochlorous acid is the part of bleach that makes it such an effective disinfecting agent. Unlike bleach, TK60 is safe for human contact. Guest explained that the product can also be utilized on food surfaces in restaurants without needing to be wiped away.
FC+ All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser has a simple makeup as well. It’s 99.925% water and 0.075% sodium hydroxide, which is a chemical commonly found in other cleaners. Sodium hydroxide is the agent that actually cleans a surface, but other products tend to add additional chemicals for fragrance, color or suds. These additions don’t have any practical usage, but they can have a negative impact. They can cause residue, streaks and even disease. Preventing the negative health consequences janitorial workers suffer from exposure to cleaning and disinfecting products is part of the reason why Guest decided to start R-Water in the first place. She knew that the system could be improved, and unnecessary chemical exposure could be stopped.
Tackling the Pandemic
R-Water started in 2012, but the past year has made the company’s disinfectant more important than ever. According to an independent study, TK60 is able to kill COVID-19 within 30 seconds of contact. That statistic is promising, but it becomes even more relevant when compared to other products on the market. While many people spray a surface and then immediately wipe it away, Guest pointed out that all products have a “contact time” that may go unnoticed by consumers. Disinfectants need to stay on the surface for a certain amount of time to truly disinfect it. TK60’s contact time is less than a minute and only 30 seconds for COVID. Others need to stay for ten minutes, a direction often glanced over. To Guest, spreading the word about proper cleaning methods is as important as working with customers to install R-Water devices.
“I’ve seen restaurants who try to sanitize, but they use the same dirty rag to wipe down every table and then immediately serve customers. Following proper sanitization and disinfection methods is crucial. That’s an information battle I fight everyday,” she said.
TK60 has seen plenty of practical usage with R-Water’s customers. Guest shared a story where, at one hospital, nurses would spray themselves down with the disinfectant before leaving to help prevent exposure to COVID. Another video on R-Water’s website showcases a partnership with a drone company to disinfect stadiums by dropping gallons of TK60 onto the seats. This method cleans a large area with no need for human contact.
Changing an Old-Fashioned Market
When the disinfection industry values relationships more than effective products, Guest has tried to question that model from the inside. She shared that she grew up in a family that always valued hard work and honesty rather than trying to turn the biggest profit. Despite initial pushback from the market, she was determined to create a company based on altruism.
“It takes so much work – owning a business isn’t something you can ‘half-do.’ I’ve come across plenty of ups and downs, but I’m glad that I took the risk to start this business. Right now, there are nurses who rely on something I made to keep themselves and their families safe. It helps them feel secure. That makes me feel like I’ve made a change in the world.”