A Cheshire company is pulling out all the stops to produce its Electrosan spray, after intense demand for the hygiene product which is faster and safer at killing Covid-19 than alcohol-based hand gels and sanitisers.
Qualkem, the parent trademarked brand of Repclif Chemical Services Ltd, worked with partners to develop Electrosan, a stabilised hypochlorous-based sanitiser last year. It was launched last summer but has taken on new significance due to the rise of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Managing Director, Ivan Anketell-Clifford said; “We launched our Electrosan Sanitiser Spray into the leisure sector as a handy sanitiser for campers and caravanners with little fanfare last summer. Demand has gone through the roof due to the Covid-19 crisis, something that we could never have predicted.”
“We now have four production lines running, rather than the normal two, and we are seeing demand from people who desperately need sanitiser, such as the NHS, dentists, vets, the rail industry and the care sector.”
Electrosan is electrically modified water, replicating a human body’s own natural antiseptic to fight infection.
Ivan said: “Our business partners are the only company producing stabilised hypochlorous-based sanitisers in the UK, clinically proven protection against bacteria, including enveloped virus strains, such as Covid-19.”
Discovered by the chemist Antione Ballard in 1834, hypochlorous has been used in many applications, including to treat soldiers’ wounds during WW1, where it was made in-situ and used immediately, as the hypochlorous degrades within the matter of days.
Electrosan has been scientifically stabilised to achieve 99.9999% bacterial kill in 12 seconds for most germs with a 12 month’s shelf life. Ivan went onto say: “In fact, bacteria cannot develop resistance to it – in scientific tests it has killed every pathogen (virus, bacteria, fungus, mould etc) which it has been tested against so far.”
Ivan added: “During unprecedented times amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we are privileged to be able to assist with supplying products to front-line staff battling the disease and caring for the vulnerable, from NHS workers to care home workers and the Network Rail workers who keep our railway network operable.
“Quarter one turnover for 2020 is up more than 250% on the same period last year and Electrosan is a huge part of that. We are, however, keeping our feet on the ground because we recognise that demand has spiked in the current crisis. Beyond Covid-19, we see there will be a genuine change in personal hygiene habits as more businesses move to hot-desking, as well as commuters being more conscious of hand hygiene on public transport. This would be in line with our strategy of steady growth.”
At present, Electrosan is generally not being sold as a retail product but being aimed at businesses to care for their staff and their families, and moreover, into essential businesses and services battling the current pandemic.
Repclif Chemical Services Ltd, a small family run firm, was founded in 1971 by Robert Frazer and Doug Holt – who had both previously worked for the well-known Wellcome Foundation – to provide private labelled chemically blended products and before long were manufacturing for prestigious companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Portakabin and Rowenta.
Ivan, the son in law of founder Robert Frazer, now runs the company alongside his wife Rachael. In the past three years, Ivan has taken the business through a programme of change, moving away from a private-labelled operation via a two-pronged approach. Firstly, Repclif has developed own label product lines under the Qualkem parent brand and secondly, in partnership with market leading customers in targeted growth sectors, has collaboratively designed and produced numerous dual branded products. They are now closing in on 100 product lines under six Qualkem brands.