A disinfectant is a cleaning solution designed to destroy bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Disinfecting solutions are designed to be used on solid, non-porous surfaces. They should not be applied to the skin or anywhere on the body. Disinfectants are available in liquid form as well as pre-saturated wipes. These products are commonly used in hospitals, doctor's offices, and around the house.
The biggest difference between these two products is that a disinfectant is meant to be used on non-living surfaces, whereas an antiseptic is used on the body. Bleach wipes, CaviWipes, and Sani Cloths are popular types of disinfectants. Examples of topical antiseptic include PVI swabs, alcohol pads, and BZK towelettes.
Disinfectant cleaners feature active ingredients like bleach or isopropyl alcohol. These ingredients are designed to destroy pathogens and microbial germs, which help stop the spread of illness. These products quickly sanitize surfaces and kill influenza, HIV, MRSA, and more.
Surface disinfectants are available in wipes as well as liquid format. The wipes are pre-saturated with disinfectant and are packaged in an easy pop up dispenser. Disinfectant wipes are meant to be thrown away after one use. Liquid disinfectants are concentrated formulas, often used in commercial settings. You may need to dilute the disinfectant with water depending on what surface it is being used on. Be sure to read the product directions before use.
One disinfectant that is safe for both the body and surfaces is green soap. Low-strength disinfectants containing lower amounts of alcohol, like tincture of green soap, can be used for removing dried blood from skin without irritating or drying out the skin. Tincture of green soap is commonly used in home healthcare because of its effective yet gentle cleaning ability.