“Quats” is the nickname used for quaternary ammonium compounds. Their disinfectant properties have been recognized for nearly 100 years. Quats have a common molecular structure. (Think of a basic car with interchangeable fenders.) Changing the basic molecule changes the characteristics of the compound and gives quats the ability to be used in a wide variety of household, institutional, and industrial products. These products range from disinfectants, sanitizers, and cleaners to wood preservatives, fabric softeners and personal care products. Quat-based disinfectants and sanitizers are used in medical facilities, food service operations, water treatment, and many industrial applications. They are also used to control algae in ponds and other aquatic environments.