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Antibacterial vs disinfectant

Both antibacterial products and disinfectant products are useful for different situations, but it matters which circumstance you use them in. Disinfectants and antibacterials along with antiseptics and antibiotics are all antimicrobial substances, which means they kill or slow the spread of microorganisms. Let’s discuss how you should use them safely so they can be most effective.



Both disinfectants and antiseptics can be used against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antiseptics are substances to be used on the skin, outside the body and help to stop the growth of microorganisms. Antiseptics can be applied to the skin in a medical setting before surgery to protect against microorganisms that could be on the skin, or could be applied to minor cuts and burns at home; antiseptic is often even in mouthwash. Disinfectants on the other hand, are used on non-living things, like countertops and high-touch surfaces. So in a medical setting, a doctor may use an antiseptic to prep the surgical site on the patient, but use a disinfectant on the operating table. Disinfectants are typically stronger than antiseptics and kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Disinfectants can be agents such as chemicals, heat or UVC light. Therefore, if you are trying to get rid of a virus you need a disinfectant or antiseptic, then depending on where you are trying to rid the virus from will determine whether you use a disinfectant or antiseptic.



Antibacterials and antibiotics are used against bacteria. Antibacterials destroy bacteria or suppress their ability to reproduce or grow. Heat, chemicals and even antibiotics have antibacterial properties. Antibacterials are most often used outside of the body or on the skin, for example hand washing or cleaning products commonly contain antibacterials. Even saliva is antibacterial, which helps explain why mouth wounds heal so quickly. Antibiotics are primarily used inside of the body to combat infection and are prescribed by a doctor. They are used to treat infections that are unlikely to clear up without the use of the antibiotics, have the ability to infect others, may take too long to clear up without treatment, carry risks of serious complications, or they may be needed as a precaution for those at a high risk of infection. However, antibiotics can never treat viruses - only bacterial infections, and actually can put you at a greater risk to develop a fungal infection.


In other words, make sure you know what you are looking to treat and whether you are looking to get rid of bacteria, viruses or fungi. Once you can determine both of these aspects, you will be able to make a better decision and successfully complete your objective.


If you are looking to disinfect, don’t miss our Clear-Raze™ UVC Wand, you can learn more about it here.


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