For over a decade, as most in the hobby, we’ve used Virosan (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%) as our day to day, overall disinfectant for just about everything. From cleaning cages, tubs, water bowls, hides, racks, floors, etc, etc. A while ago, I heard about this super disinfectant out of the UK that was about to hit the US via a few select distributors. The product was called F10 SC Veterinary Disinfectant.
I’ve copied some of the below from a few websites, as they explain what F10 is and does better than I could word it. The F10 disinfectant is an EPA approved hospital grade disinfectant, used in many of the world’s leading zoos, veterinary hospitals, as well as by leading reptile and exotic pet breeders and keepers. F10 is registered with the EPA and has been proven effective at safe concentrations against all types of bacteria, fungi and spores including MRSA, avian influenza and parvovirus.
F10 is non-toxic and biodegradable and will not corrode metals or irritate the eyes or even abraded skin. F10 is used for effective and safe general disinfection of all hard surfaces such as tables, floors, animal cages, tubs, racks, water bowls, even food preparation areas, inside incubators, even decontaminating hands. F10 can even be applied as a fog or fine spray to mist rooms to eradicate airborne microbes, such as fungal spores and viruses. F10SC can be sprayed on and left to disinfect after cleaning with no need to rinse off. F10 also stays active providing an ongoing residual effect.
Well, I have to say, after researching and reading all of the above, along with hundreds of comments and forum reviews, I decided to give F10 a try. Not because I felt Virosan (Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2%) was not good enough, or because F10 is cheaper, as it is not. But, if F10 is a slightly better way at helping me keep a cleaner, more sanitized environment for my animals and family, I’m all for it.
For those of you wondering how much F10 SC costs vs Virosan:
The price for the 100ml F10 is appx $16.15 + $10.00 S&H = $26.15. So, let’s do the math based on the current price on 100ml bottle. F10 mixes at 1:250, so a 100ml of F10 will give you roughly 6.5glns of usable disinfectant, which = appx 25-26 refills on your average 32oz spray bottle. Which adds up to about $1.04 per spray bottle, or $4.02/gln of usable cleaner.
Let’s look at the largest F10 bottle available, the 1 liter bottle. A 1 liter bottle of F10 is priced at $98.66 + $11.00 S&H = $109.66. Same dilution at 1:250, so 1 ltr of F10 will give you roughly 66glns of usable disinfectant, which = appx 263 refills on your average 32oz spray bottle. Which adds up to about $0.41 per spray bottle or $1.66/gln of usable cleaner.
I can buy a gallon of generic Virosan (same 2% Chlorhexadine) for appx $20 shipped. It dilutes to 2oz per gallon of water. One bottle of concentrate makes appx 64 gallons of cleaner. Most spray bottles are 32oz, so again you’re talking about 256 refills to your spray bottle. $20/256 = $0.07-$0.08 per spray bottle refill, or $0.31 per gallon!
Even if you paid the high price of $40.00/gln for the same 2% Chlorhexadine you can get elsewhere for $20 shipped, you’re still only looking at $0.62/gln vs $1.66-4.02/gln of F10 depending if you bought the 100ml or the largest bottle.
F10 = $1.66 to 4.02/gln
Chlorhexadine = $0.31 to $0.62/gln
Also keep in mind, as with any Chlorhexadine solution, once diluted, it has a shelf life of about 1wk. So you must discard and mix a fresh batch at least once a week. The F10 concentrate has at least a 3 year shelf life and the diluted solution can be kept for at least 6 months, providing it has not been contaminated in any way.
Hope this helps.