The prime function of both the antimicrobial agents – disinfectants and antiseptics is very similar. Both are commonly used for killing and inactivating harmful microbes like germs, bacteria, and viruses. We at Medwin Pharmatech manufacture both. Medlon is a premium quality disinfectant and & Medrub is an antiseptic. As a result, and because of similar functioning most of the time, several people use these two chemical agent product terms interchangeably.
These two chemical agents contain several similar and different chemical components. Sometimes termed biocides are mainly used for cleaning and killing disease-causing microbes that may support various people to think that both antimicrobial agents are the same. But on a ground report basis, these two chemical agents, their structure and functioning are very different, along with how and where these two products are used.
What is a Disinfectant?
Disinfectant is generally a type of antimicrobial agent applied on non-living things and inanimate surfaces (medical devices, medical equipment & instruments, floors, etc.) to inhibit the growth of harmful microbes by killing or eliminating them.
How does disinfectant work?
It is applied on non-living surfaces to kill harmful disease-causing microorganisms. However, it is not manufactured to apply to living tissues, so these chemical agents contain a higher percentage of biocide than antiseptics.
Disinfectants are primely used in the home for cleaning floors, kitchen, and bathroom areas. These antimicrobial agents are also used in medical centers to clean medical and surgical equipment and rooms.
Type of Disinfectant: –
Following are the some commonly used disinfectants –
- Air Disinfectant – these types of disinfectants are also entitled as a disinfectant spray. These types of antimicrobial agents are used to kill the harmful microbes that are present in the air.
- Alcohol – is used as a disinfectant for several years to kill or slow down the growth of harmful microorganisms. Ethanol, chlorine, and sulfur dioxide are some of the common examples of disinfectants.
What is an antiseptic?
An antiseptic is the type of antimicrobial agent applied on living organisms’ bodies and broken skin surfaces to kill and slow down the growth of harmful microorganisms. These antiseptics are not directly injected into the living body, just like the antibiotics. In contrast, these antiseptics are applied on the wound and cut the skin’s surface to kill the harmful germs that can amplify the infection on the living broken tissues.
Types of antiseptics: –
Some of the antiseptics are germicidal, which means they have the capability of entirely killing harmful microorganisms. These types of antiseptics are also termed bactericidal antiseptics. Whereas the other type of antiseptics only reduces the growth of the harmful disease-causing microbes, and these are termed bacteriostatic antiseptics.
Difference between disinfectants and antiseptics
- Antiseptics are used on the living tissues to kill or slow down the growth of harmful germs, whereas disinfectants are applied on non-living things and inanimate surfaces.
- The chemical concentrations and basic structure of both antimicrobial agents are different.
- Both antimicrobial agents have similar actions of destroying harmful microorganisms, but both vary in their concentration of biocides and other chemical composition percentages.
Let’s take the example of surgical procedure to understand the use of both the antimicrobial agents as the medical professionals apply an antiseptic to the wound and surgical area of the living body. In contrast, disinfectant is used to disinfect the medical and surgical equipment.
Dettol & savlon are the most commonly used antiseptic liquids at home, whereas Lysol and phenol are disinfectants used.