Quaternary ammonium chloride (quat) is an active ingredient in disinfectants that are used  throughout the cleaning industry. These disinfectants are popular because of their effectiveness against germs, bacteria and viruses; their relatively low toxicity at proper dilution; low odors and; long shelf life.

However, when quats are used incorrectly, their effectiveness is drastically reduced by something called quat binding.  Here is a link to a good article that explains this problem and what you can do to be sure it does not happen to you.