Disinfectants or infection control products are chemicals that are used to prevent infection or contamination by microorganisms or drugs to eradicate germs. Another definition of disinfectants is chemical compounds that have ability to kill microorganisms. The effectiveness of disinfectants use is influenced by several factors, including the duration of exposure, temperature, the disinfectant concentration itself, pH, and the presence or absence of material bullies. The type of material bullies that may decrease the effectiveness of disinfectants are organic compounds.
PH is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of disinfectants, for example, chlorine compounds will lose its effectiveness in preventing infection once pH environment is more than 10. The type of chlorine compounds which is most active is hypochlorous acid. Its action mechanism in disinfecting process is to inhibit the oxidation of glucose in the cells of microorganisms by preventing the involvement of enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism. The advantages of this disinfectant are easy to use, and the types of microorganisms that can be killed are also quite broad, covering gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The shortcoming of chlorine-based disinfectants are its ability in causing corrosion at low pH (acidic conditions), despite the fact that low pH is required to achieve optimum effectiveness. Chlorine is also easily inactivated when it’s exposed by certain organic compounds.