Disinfectant cleaners are used to kill germs and sanitize surfaces to prevent the spread of illness and disease. There are several levels of disinfectant strength, ranging from low-level products that are safe on skin to hospital-level surface disinfectants that can be used to kill stronger germs and viruses found in hospitals and healthcare environments. Low-strength disinfectants containing lower amounts of alcohol, like tincture of green soap, can be used for sanitizing skin or removing dried blood from skin without dehydrating or irritating skin. Tincture of green soap is commonly used in home healthcare and tattoo shops because of its gentle cleaning ability. Stronger multi-purpose disinfectant products like Cavicide 1 and Madacide FD are formulated for quickly sterilizing surfaces or equipment that may be contaminated. Disinfectant wipes are a popular option for sanitizing and disinfecting household surfaces.
Antiseptic cleansers are used to sterilize skin prior to a medical procedure or when cleaning a wound to prevent infection. Antiseptic solutions are often classified by their active chemical ingredient, whether that be povidone-iodine, benzalkonium chloride (BZK) or an alcohol-based solution. Using a sting-free antiseptic cleanser like BZK or povidone-iodine can be less painful on cuts and scrapes than alcohol, which may be helpful when cleaning children’s wounds.
Betadine makes topical antiseptic scrubs, solutions and swabsticks for washing hands and sterilizing skin prior to surgery or a medical procedure. Povidone-Iodine antiseptics help reduce bacteria and microorganisms on the skin that can cause infections. A Betadine scrub is often used by surgeons and other medical professionals on the hands and forearms to prevent contaminating sterile surfaces and equipment. While some povidone-iodine products can be slightly messy, Betadine swabs come in easy-to-open packets for easy and convenient antiseptic application.
BZK wipes are used for sterilizing skin and as a sting-free method of cleaning the area around a wound. Alcohol-free BZK wipes are an ideal solution for catheter users because they do not sting or dehydrate sensitive skin and come in convenient individually-wrapped packets hat can be easily used in any situation. Some also prefer using BZK towelettes in first-aid kits because they are sting-free and less messy than povidone-iodine.
Nexcare waterproof bandages protect wounds and damaged skin from germs and can be reapplied without losing adhesion. They make a great addition to antiseptic wipes in first-aid kits because they are breathable yet retain adhesiveness when wet. Nexcare also makes several types of bandages as well as wound dressings and other skin care products.