Antiseptics and Disinfectants Explained

The use of antiseptics and disinfectants has become quite common in modern times as these germicidal solutions have proved to be very effective in killing of bacteria and germs once the two get into contact.

While antiseptics are used in killing bacteria that are found in living tissue or on the skin, disinfectants on the other hand are used for the same task but on surfaces and objects.

Antiseptics and disinfectants are quite common in many places starting with home all the way to hospitals and other areas where they are used in destruction of harmful microorganisms.

Types Of Disinfectants And Antiseptics

Basically, there are many different types of disinfectants including: aldehydes, alcohols, hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate solutions and iodine. Then, there are phenol compounds which are commonly used as disinfectants in soaps and hand washes. These ones are used for their powerful anti-bacterial properties which makes them quite effective.

Antiseptics are available in a range of selections as well, including boric acid, alcohol, carbolic acid, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, sodium chloride, calcium hypochlorite and chlorohexadine and the rest. Phenol compounds have been commonly used for mouth washing purposes alongside other uses. 

Disinfectants and antiseptics have various uses and firstly, antiseptics are used on the skin surfaces for sterilization of cuts. Still, they are used to wash hands by doctors before they conduct surgical procedures on the patients.

Also, when handling new born babies, doctors must use antiseptics as the babies are highly vulnerable to many types of infections. Their use largely lies on the fact that antiseptics reduce the chances of microorganisms from growing whether on the mucous membranes or on skin.

Since disinfectants are stronger compared to antiseptics, they are commonly used for cleaning surfaces and objects. Antiseptics and Disinfectants are commonly available at home, hospitals, clinics, offices and schools. In most cases, the disinfectants are widely used for cleaning surfaces like sinks, toilets, floors, door knobs, doors, garbage cans and counters.

As such, the main role of Antiseptics and Disinfectants is being used to maintain an environment that is clean and free from harmful bacteria. This ensures that people keep off diseases and infections that could easily arise from such bacteria and germs.

The effectiveness of Antiseptics and Disinfectants

There are many aspects that determine the effectiveness of antiseptics and disinfectants when being used for their various purposes. Some of the factors that play a great part include the amount of bacteria or germs available at the surface being cleaned, the way that the surface or object is cleaned, and if it is flat or cracked.

When it comes to antiseptics, they are generally effective even though this will depend on blood amount, tissue or mucus, temperature, exposure time and even chemical composition.

Use of antiseptics and disinfectants is usually regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and it is essential that you buy a product that has been tested for toxicity on humans, level of microbial activity and the stability of the product before you decide on which to buy.

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