There are many types of disinfectants, Did you choose the right one?


What types of household disinfectants are common in our daily lives? What are the characteristics of each of them? How to choose the most suitable disinfectant? What matters need to be paid attention to when using it?

Chlorine disinfectant

The 84 disinfectant we use daily to clean the bathroom is a chlorine-containing disinfectant, just like the bleach added to tap water. The active ingredient of 84 disinfectant is sodium hypochlorite, and the active ingredient of bleaching powder is calcium hypochlorite. They are both hypochlorites. These hypochlorites can produce hypochlorous acid in water. Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid with very unstable chemical properties. It can only exist in solution and has strong oxidizing properties. It easily penetrates cell walls, damages cell membranes, releases proteins, DNA and other substances, and affects many enzyme system, causing the bacteria to die.

Chlorine-containing disinfectants have a certain pungent smell, are corrosive to metals, and have a bleaching effect on textiles. The concentration of chlorine-containing disinfectants used in daily life should not be too high, the contact time with objects should not be too long, and care should be taken to rinse the residue with clean water in a timely manner. In addition, the chemical properties of chlorine-containing disinfectants are not very stable. In order to ensure their effectiveness, it is best to prepare them immediately and not store them for a long time.

Another thing to note is that chlorine-containing disinfectants must not be mixed with acidic cleaners such as toilet cleaners, toilet blocks and bathroom cleaners. This is because the hydrochloric acid (usually labeled as inorganic acid in the ingredient list) in acidic toilet cleaners will react chemically with chlorine-containing disinfectants to produce chlorine, a toxic gas with a pungent odor.

Iodine-containing disinfectants

Iodine element is the main active ingredient of iodine-containing disinfectants. It has strong permeability and can oxidize and kill a variety of bacteria and viruses. It is mostly used for human skin disinfection.

There are two main types of commercially available iodine-containing disinfectants: iodine tincture and iodophor. Iodine tincture is obtained by dissolving elemental iodine in alcohol, so it is also called iodine tincture. Iodine tincture has a strong sterilizing and disinfecting ability and is also highly irritating to the skin. Therefore, iodine tincture cannot be used to disinfect mucous membranes and areas with thin skin. Iodophor has no pungent smell and is less irritating to the skin than iodine tincture. This is because iodophor is an aqueous solution of a complex composed of iodine element and surfactant. On the one hand, the iodine element can be slowly released and can still play a good disinfection and sterilization effect; on the other hand, using water as a solvent also weakens the It is irritating to the skin, so iodophor has more advantages in wound disinfection and sterilization.

Iodine element is volatile and sensitive to environmental factors such as light and heat. Therefore, iodine-containing disinfectants should be stored in a closed, dark, and cool place. Another thing to note is that iodine-containing disinfectants are corrosive to metals and cannot be used to disinfect metal objects.

Peroxide disinfectant

Peroxides have strong oxidizing properties, can sterilize and disinfect through their own oxidation, and have a good killing effect on various microorganisms. Peroxide disinfectants include hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and ozone.

The advantage of peroxide disinfectants is that they are green, mild, and generally do not cause toxic residues. In medical institutions such as hospitals, peroxide disinfectants are often used to disinfect wounds, etc. Peroxide disinfectants can also be used for home disinfection, such as disinfecting clothing and surfaces.

Commercially available hydrogen peroxide disinfectant, also commonly known as hydrogen peroxide disinfectant, belongs to this type of disinfectant and contains 3% hydrogen peroxide mass percentage.

When you use hydrogen peroxide disinfectant to clean wounds and wipe surfaces, tiny bubbles will be produced, indicating that oxygen is being released. During this process, oxidative free radicals can destroy the structures of bacteria and viruses, thereby killing them.

Although hydrogen peroxide disinfectant is colorless, odorless and easy to use, it is very unstable and needs to be stored in a dark, cool and dry place away from fire sources and high-temperature objects. If people accidentally come into contact with hydrogen peroxide disinfectant during use, the skin may become oxidized and whiten, and the skin flakes may fall off, etc., but it is not a serious problem. In addition, hydrogen peroxide is corrosive to metals and cannot be used to disinfect metal items.

Peroxide disinfectants are strictly prohibited to be taken orally, should be kept out of reach of children, and should not be mixed with other types of disinfectants.

Personal protection should be taken when using peroxide disinfectants. Taking the use of peracetic acid disinfectants as an example, you must wear rubber gloves when diluting and using them. Handle them with care when operating, avoid violent shaking of the container, and prevent the solution from splashing into your eyes, skin and clothing. The container for preparing disinfectant is best made of plastic. When preparing peracetic acid, avoid mixing it with alkali or organic matter to avoid violent decomposition or even explosion.

Quaternary ammonium salt disinfectants

Quaternary ammonium salt is a type of cationic surfactant that is easily soluble in water and has the functions of sterilization, fabric softening, antistatic, and flocculation. The most representative quaternary ammonium salt disinfectant is chlormethionine, which is an aqueous solution of dodecyldimethylbenzyl ammonium bromide (benzalkonium bromide). It has a broad-spectrum bactericidal effect and is non-irritating to the human body. Metal is non-corrosive, has decontamination capabilities, and does not contaminate clothing. It is often used to disinfect human skin and soak and disinfect medical equipment.

It should be noted that quaternary ammonium salt disinfectants cannot be used at the same time as soap detergents. This is because the anionic surfactant in the soap will neutralize the cationic surfactant contained in the new benzalkonium chloride, causing it to become ineffective.

Biguanide disinfectant

Commonly used biguanide disinfectants include chlorhexidine gluconate aqueous solution, commonly known as chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is a colorless or light yellow solution, odorless, stable in nature, and resistant to storage. It is mainly used for flushing and disinfecting human mucous membranes and oral gargle sterilization. It is especially effective in assisting the treatment of oral ulcers and periodontal disease.

Chlorhexidine is a cationic disinfectant similar to chlormethionine. It cannot be used together with detergents containing anionic surfactants (such as soap), nor can it be used together with iodine or peroxide.

Since biguanide disinfectants are only effective against bacteria and some viruses, they are often used for non-critical items in hospitals, hand skin and daily household disinfection. Chlorhexidine ointment, which is used for mild and small area burns and traumatic infections, and metronidazole chlorhexidine lotion, which is commonly used in gynecology clinically, all belong to this type of disinfectant.

Alcohol disinfectant

Alcohol is an aqueous solution of ethanol and is an alcohol disinfectant. The ethanol content in medical alcohol is usually 75% (volume percentage).

Alcohol can quickly absorb the moisture of bacterial and viral proteins, causing them to denature and solidify, thereby sterilizing and inactivating them. It has obvious bactericidal effect, fast action, stable nature, easy volatile and no residue. It is a commonly used disinfectant in daily life and is widely used for disinfection and sterilization of human skin, object surfaces and medical equipment.

Alcohol disinfectants are flammable, so be careful to keep away from open flames during use and storage. Do not hoard large quantities of food at home to avoid fire safety hazards.

At present, alcohol disinfectants may be the most commonly used disinfectants in our daily lives. In non-home situations, such as taking buses, subways, or long-distance travel by trains or planes, spray-type alcohol disinfectants are not suitable for safety reasons. As a result, portable and safe alcohol disinfection products came into being. Such disinfection products mainly include hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and alcohol pads. The alcohol content of alcohol-free hand sanitizer has been reduced, but it does not affect the bactericidal effect. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer generally contains ingredients such as glycerin, propylene glycol, and water, forming a non-flammable viscous gel. Obviously, these new alcohol disinfection products are easy to carry and use, and are very suitable for use on the go.

Potassium permanganate disinfectant

Potassium permanganate is a black-purple crystalline particle that is a strong oxidizing agent and becomes a purple-red solution when dissolved in water. Commercially available potassium permanganate disinfectant is available in solution type and granular type, commonly known as PP water or PP powder. It is usually used for sitz bath sterilization of gynecological and andrological inflammation and hemorrhoids.

Since potassium permanganate disinfectant has a strong oxidizing effect on the skin, it should not be in direct contact with the skin, especially the mucous membranes. If it accidentally splashes on the skin, the skin in contact will turn black, so wash it immediately with plenty of water. The darkened skin will fall off in a few days and there will be no major problems.

Potassium permanganate disinfectant is easily decomposed by light, so it needs to be stored away from light. It is best to use it freshly.

Generally speaking, there are many types of household disinfectants, each with its own characteristics and advantages and disadvantages. Only reasonable selection and scientific use can achieve the best results.