When a disinfectant is applied to a non-living object, it destroys the microorganisms living on it.

How does the microorganism gets destroyed?

The simple answer to this is – antimicrobial agents.

A disinfectant is an antimicrobial agent. Disinfectant not necessarily kills all the microorganisms. It is not as effective as sterilization. Sterilization process kills all types of living forms while a disinfectant kills only certain types of microbes. It is generally applied to a floor or a drainage system. Most of the popularly used cleaning products used in homes and offices are nothing but disinfectants. We have the following types of disinfectants:


We have the following types of disinfectants:

  1. Air disinfectants: These are used to kill the microorganisms that are suspended in the air. It is like a disinfectant spray.
  2. Alcohol: It is seen that alcohols are used as disinfectants. Ethanol is the most common example in this case. Some other examples of disinfectants are, sulphur dioxide, which acts as a disinfectant in small concentrations and chlorine when it is in the concentration of 0.2 to 0.4 in aqueous solution The substance which can be used as an antiseptic, as well as a disinfectant, is phenol. 0.2 percent solution of phenol can be used as an antiseptic and for disinfectant 1 percent of the solution should be used.

Iodoform is mainly used as a disinfectant component of some medications due to its nonirritant action. It is an organoiodine compound which has a formula of CHIand belongs to the family of organic halogen compounds. Physically speaking, it is a crystalline pale yellow substance. It is also volatile in nature. It has a penetrating and distinctive odor with a sweetish smell which is analogous to chloroform. It was widely used in hospitals and described as smell of hospital due to its distinctive odor

Iodoform is used as a disinfectanton a small scale. In the 20th century it was used as a component in medicines for healing and antiseptic dressing of wounds and sores. It was also used for sterilizing instruments used for surgery. There are many side effects associated with iodoform and therefore its use has now been suppressed with the evolution of new disinfectants. It is an active ingredient for making of dog powders along with zinc oxide and propanoic acid. These are used in order to prevent infection. It also facilitates the removal of ear hair.


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