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Barbicide is a disinfectant solution used by barbers and cosmetologists for sanitizing grooming tools such as combs and hair-cutting shears. Manufactured by King Research, it was invented in 1947 by Maurice King and marketed heavily around the United States by his brother James.[1]

Barbicide is a United States Environmental Protection Agency-approved combination germicide, pseudomonacide, fungicide, and a viricide effective against the HIV-1 virus (AIDS virus), Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Its active ingredient is Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (5.12% by volume); sodium nitrite and blue dye are also present. Contact can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, and consumption of just 50 ml of the liquid can cause shock and may lead to death if not treated promptly.

Barbicide is sold as a concentrate diluted for use in a 2:32 ratio with water[2], with each stylist having a container for treating their own tools. Company technicians claim it is the only such disinfectant to hold its power and color over time, maintaining competitors' products eventually turn green or brown.[1]

At one time, several US states legally required barber shops to use Barbicide; according to the maker who still did in 1997.[1] A jar of Barbicide sits on display in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.[1]


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