8 Properties of Ideal Disinfectants

Hospitals are profoundly prone to nosocomial infections due to their continuous exposure to microbes. Hence, it is obligatory to install hospital-grade disinfectant to prevent the multiplication and spread of various diseases. Disinfection eliminates living microbes, and this can be achieved with high-quality disinfectants.

Disinfectants are chemical solutions or gases that destroy microbes on non-living surfaces like glassware, metal surfaces, and surgical equipment. In today’s world, the rapid growth of infections and microorganisms has made disinfection and sterilisation part and parcel of life. Therefore, ignorance and negligence could result in serious health hazards.

Levels of Disinfectants

Low-Level Disinfectant

Low-level disinfectants are less effective against most microorganisms. Hence they are used in less infected areas.

Intermediate-Level Disinfectant

The intermediate-level disinfectant has comparatively better properties than low-level disinfectants. They can destroy bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, they are ineffective against spores.

High-Level Disinfectant

These can destroy all microorganisms within a shorter exposure period and are effective against tiny spores.

Examples of Disinfectants

  • Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is available in liquid and gaseous form and is effective against bacteria and viruses. However, formaldehyde has carcinogenic properties; hence, care should be taken while handling it.

  • Glutaraldehyde

Glutaraldehyde almost exhibits similar properties to formaldehyde. These can be used for medical devices like endoscopes, spirometry, and respiratory equipment.

Properties of Ideal Disinfectant

  • Broad Spectrum

An ideal disinfectant should be capable of destroying a wide range of microorganisms more efficiently. Hence, a broad-spectrum disinfectant is highly preferable at hospitals to combat different pathogens.

  • Fast Acting

Hospitals are bustling places with frequent emergencies and surgeries. Therefore, there may be minimal time to achieve optimal sterilisation. A fast-acting disinfectant can help clean medical equipment soiled with blood and microbes.

  • Non-Toxic

Disinfectants should be non-toxic by considering the welfare of living beings. Toxicity may result in serious health hazards which could be life-threatening.

  • Surface Compatibility

Disinfectants are used on non-living surfaces, so they must resist colour and corrosion. In addition, they should not cause disorientation of rubber and plastic materials.

  • Easy to Use

An ideal disinfectant is simple and easy to use. All one has to do is follow the instructions on the label. When purchasing, they should ensure it comes in protective packaging.

  • Stability

Disinfectants in liquid and gaseous form have higher chances for evaporation and interaction with atmospheric air. Hence they should be in stable concentration and dissolve in water for practical usage.

  • Environmental Friendly

Disinfectants should refrain from damaging or polluting the environment on disposal. With the number of biohazards increasing daily, an environmentally friendly disinfectant is most welcome.

  • Economical

An economical disinfectant can suffice the enormous requirements of households and hospitals.

Factors Influencing the Efficacy of Disinfectants

  • Microorganisms

Disinfectants are generally used on non-living objects and surfaces. Hence it can be challenging to eliminate all microorganisms that breed on living objects at a specific time and place.

  • The concentration of the Disinfectant Solution

Concentration plays a major role in getting rid of various microbes. Since disinfectants are dissolved in water, diluted concrete should be adequate.

  • Physical and Chemical Factors

Temperature and pH influence the efficacy of disinfectants. Some disinfectants can withstand high temperatures, while others may disintegrate.

In Conclusion

Disinfectants play a pivotal role in limiting the growth of microbes on inanimate objects. Therefore, opting for hospital-grade disinfectants can have better efficacy than regular ones. In addition, a clean environment provides a healthy and disease-free lifestyle.

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