What Disinfectants are Available for Mushroom Farms?

Several groups of disinfectants are available and used around mushroom farms. We have attempted to group them into similar categories and have listed them in the table alphabetically. They are not listed by cost or effectiveness. There is a wide difference of opinion as to how tolerant these disinfectants are to organic matter, so we tried to generalize their tolerance. The only definite statement that can be made is that any organic matter load will limit the effectiveness of any disinfecting or sanitizing chemical.

Disinfectants Available to use on Mushroom Farms

Disinfectant Type

Active Ingredients

Example Trade Names





HTH, Bleach, other trade names

Approved for FCS at 200 ppm, general disinfecting at 600 ppm; chlorine not tolerant OM; corrosive; inexpensive; adjustment of pH is critical, chlorine is not effective unless pH is approx. 7.0 or slightly lower.

Iodine Based


Various Trade names, e.g:


Approved for FCS at 25 ppm; broad spectrum disinfectant for general sanitation at 100 ppm. Provides little residual; may stain porous surfaces; sanitizer of choice for hospitals; mid- level cost.


Chlorine Dioxide – various types/levels of stability

Various Trade names, e.g: Oxysan

Mildly corrosive, different complexes and types; the more stabilized chemical need acids to activate; effective under some OM load; approved for FCS at 100 ppm; GS 500 ppm.

Hydrogen Peroxide or Hydrogen Dioxide

Various Trade names, e.g: Oxidate

Unknown efficacy; initial trials suggest more effective against spores than mycelium.


Peracetic (peroxyacetic) acids

Active peracid chemistry;

Peracid chemistry is similar to that of the oxidizing disinfectants.

Various Trade names, e.g:


Unknown efficacy; corrosive, expensive; labeled for FCS; check individual label for ppm. Low residual antimicrobial activity; kills broad spectrum of microorganisms.


Combination of:

ortho-phenylphenate (OPP) and/or some

potassium or sodium based phenol derivatives

Various Trade names, e.g:



Germ Warfare

Does not have FCS tolerance;

Tolerant of some OM load; Increasing OM load rapidly decreases effectiveness

Use on nonporous surface only (NO WOOD); Use on A/C or other equipment requires thorough rinsing with potable water.

Quaternary Ammonium

Quaternary Ammonia Chlorides

Various Trade names, e.g:

Verticide, PermQuat


Clings to substances.

Stable under low OM tolerances; does not easily dissipate.

Stabilized Formaldehyde

Hydroxymethyl-n-propanediol, formaldehyde, and dimethyl benzyl ammonia chloride

Various Trade names, e.g: Lysofume


Broad spectrum, noncorrosive,

Wood Preservatives





Approved for wood surfaces between crops, prior to filling.

FCS = food contact surfaces; GS = general sanitation; OM = organic matter