Alcohol free disinfectant
Who would have thought that disinfectants would one day take such center stage? In times of pandemics and constant health threats, the world has learned to appreciate anew the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Alcohol-free disinfectant is a hot topic in this regard.
Disinfectants are products used to kill or inactivate pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. They are used for hygiene and infection control in various fields such as medicine, the food industry or private households. Most disinfectants contain alcohol as the main active ingredient, as it has a fast and effective action against many microorganisms. However, alcohol also has some disadvantages, such as drying out the skin, a limited duration of action or a possible fire hazard. For these reasons, there are also alcohol-free disinfectants that contain other active ingredients such as chlorine, hydrogen peroxide or benzalkonium chloride.
What is an alcohol-free disinfectant?
An alcohol-free disinfectant is a product that contains no or only a very small amount of alcohol. Instead, it is based on other chemical or natural substances that have a disinfecting effect.
Definition and mode of action
The definition of an alcohol-free disinfectant depends on how much alcohol it contains. According to the European Standard EN 1500, a product is considered alcohol-free if it contains less than 0.5% ethanol or 0.1% isopropanol. These amounts are so small that they have no effect on the effectiveness or safety of the product.
The mode of action of an alcohol-free disinfectant depends on the active ingredient used. In general, these substances act by destroying or altering the cell membrane or genetic material of the microorganisms. This kills them or inhibits their multiplication.
What is an alcohol-free disinfectant?
There are several types of alcohol-free disinfectants, which differ in their composition, efficacy and areas of application. The most common are:
These contain chlorine or chlorine compounds such as sodium hypochlorite or chlorine dioxide. They have a strong effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. They are mainly used to disinfect surfaces, water or food. However, they can also cause skin irritation, respiratory problems or bleach spots.
Hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants:
These contain hydrogen peroxide or peroxides such as peracetic acid or perbenzoic acid. They have a good effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. They are mainly used to disinfect wounds, instruments or textiles. However, they can also cause skin irritation, eye damage or oxygen explosions.
Benzalkonium chloride-based disinfectants:
These contain benzalkonium chloride or other quaternary ammonium compounds. They have a good effect against bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are mainly used to disinfect skin, mucous membranes or contact lenses. However, they can also cause skin irritation, allergies or the development of resistance.
These contain natural substances such as essential oils, herbal extracts or enzymes. They have a moderate effect against bacteria, viruses and fungi. They are mainly used to disinfect the skin, hair or mouth. However, they can also cause skin irritation, allergies or low effectiveness.
Some of you may be wondering: why alcohol-free at all? Well, not everyone can or wants to use alcohol, be it for health, religious or simple preferences.
An alcohol-free disinfectant can be a viable alternative to a product containing alcohol if you want to take advantage of certain benefits or avoid certain drawbacks.
Advantages of alcohol-free products
Alcohol-free disinfectants are often less aggressive to the skin and may therefore be more suitable for people with sensitive skin. They also offer the advantage of being non-flammable and not emitting strong vapors.
- Skin compatibility and moisturizing
Alcohol can dry out, irritate or damage the skin, especially with frequent or prolonged use. Alcohol-free disinfectants are usually more skin-friendly and can even moisturize. This is particularly important for people with sensitive, dry or damaged skin.
- Broad spectrum of action and long-term efficacy
Alcohol has a rapid effect against many microorganisms, but it cannot kill or inactivate all of them. For example, it is less effective against spores, some viruses or fungi. Alcohol-free disinfectants often have a broader spectrum of activity and can also combat these pathogens. They also often have a longer duration of action than alcohol, which evaporates or degrades quickly.
- Environmental friendliness and sustainability
Alcohol is a flammable and volatile substance that poses a fire hazard and contributes to air pollution. Alcohol-free disinfectants are generally non-flammable and less volatile. Therefore, they are safer to handle and transport. In addition, some alcohol-free disinfectants are biodegradable or derived from natural sources. They are therefore more environmentally friendly and sustainable than alcohol.
There are many different ingredients that can be used in alcohol-free disinfectants. Some of the most common are benzalkonium chloride, chlorhexidine digluconate and hydrogen peroxide.
Areas of application
In the household
From the kitchen to the bathroom, alcohol-free disinfectants can be used anywhere in the home. They are especially useful for places with children, as they are less aggressive.
In public areas
Whether in schools, offices or shopping centers, these disinfectants provide protection everywhere. They are often found in dispensers in entrance areas.
They are also indispensable in hospitals. They provide a high standard of protection without burdening the staff.
The areas of application and recommendations for alcohol-free disinfectants depend on the type of product and the purpose of the disinfection. In general, the following points should be observed:
Verify the effectiveness of the product:
Not all alcohol-free disinfectants are effective against all microorganisms. One should therefore always read the manufacturer's instructions and use the product only for the intended areas of application.
Observe the correct dosage and exposure time:
The dosage and exposure time of an alcohol-free disinfectant are important for its effectiveness. Therefore, one should always follow the manufacturer's instructions and not dilute the product or allow it to act for too short a time.
Observe proper storage and disposal:
The storage and disposal of an alcohol-free disinfectant are important for its safety. One should therefore always observe the expiration date and protect the product from heat, light or moisture. In addition, one should not allow the product to enter the sewage system or the environment.
Difference from alcohol-based agents
While alcohol-based disinfectants evaporate quickly and leave a strong odor, alcohol-free agents offer a gentler, often odorless option that is just as effective.
How it works
Effectiveness against germs
They work by destroying the cell membranes of bacteria and viruses, killing them. Many alcohol-free disinfectants can kill up to 99.9% of germs.
Application and order
It is important to follow the label instructions carefully. Some may require that they remain on the skin or surface for a certain amount of time to be effective.
What to consider
Always look at the ingredients list and make sure the product is certified and fit for your intended purpose.
Brands and recommendations
There are many brands on the market. It is advisable to read reviews and, if necessary, ask medical personnel for recommendations.
Alcohol-free disinfectant offers an effective, gentle and often odorless option for those looking for an alternative to alcohol-based products. When choosing the best product for your needs, it's important to be informed and always be safe.
Is alcohol-free disinfectant as effective as alcohol-based disinfectant?
Yes, if used properly, it can be just as effective.
Can I make alcohol-free disinfectant myself?
It is generally not recommended, as improper manufacture may compromise efficacy.
Where can I buy alcohol-free disinfectant?
They are available in most pharmacies, supermarkets and online, for example, at https://prpmed.de/en/.
Are they safe for children?
Yes, they are often a safer option for children because they are not as aggressive as alcohol-based products.
Can I use it for all surfaces?
It is important to read the label as not all are suitable for every surface.