Disinfectants

Disinfectants

Cleaning products used to disinfect and deodorize hard and non-porous surfaces; available as liquid solutions, sprays, pads, and wipes. Product ingredients include alcohols, ammonium, and hydrogen peroxide and are suitable for cleanroom applications.

Disinfectants are used to kill bacteria by damaging the proteins in their outer walls. However, disinfectant chemicals may not kill bacterial endospores or other highly resistant microbes, including some fungi, viruses, and bacteria.

Disinfectants are distinguished from:

  • Sterilization, which destroys by heat or radiation
  • Antibiotics, which kill microorganisms in living things
  • Biocides, which destroy all forms of life
  • Sanitizers, which clean and disinfect simultaneously

Choose a disinfectant based on the situation’s requirements: some are “wide spectrum” and kill a variety of microorganisms, while others affect a smaller group of pathogens (and may be less corrosive, toxic, or expensive).

An ideal disinfectant would be inexpensive, non-corrosive, and safe for humans and other life forms, but most are toxic to some degree. Mixing disinfectants with other cleaning products can create harmful chemical reactions.

Disinfection using chlorine, ultraviolet light, or ozonation is often used in wastewater treatment to destroy any pathogens before the treated water is released into a stream or reservoir.

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