Characteristics of a Good Disinfectant

When you clean your home, office, or workplace, are you actually eliminating germs? Or are you simply removing dirt and grime? If you’re using the same all-purpose cleaner for every surface, simply spraying and wiping when things start to look a bit dirty, you could be leaving behind bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbial pathogens. For cleaning power you can rely on, it’s important to know the characteristics of a good disinfectant.

What Is a Disinfectant?

Not all cleaners have disinfectant properties, and not all disinfectants are formulated to clean. Unless a cleaning product’s label specifically states that it kills germs, don’t assume that it does. Products made for disinfecting are used to eliminate unwanted microbes from surfaces but may leave dirt behind. You probably don’t want to think about adding another step to your regular cleaning regimen, but if you want to truly disinfect your home, you should consider using a dedicated disinfectant (one that possesses the characteristics of a good disinfectant) after wiping down surfaces with your usual cleaner.

Characteristics of a Good Disinfectant

Broad-Spectrum Effectiveness

To avoid filling your bathroom cabinet with a forest of bottles, look for disinfectants that promise to kill the largest number and widest variety of microbial pathogens possible. Products with reliable cleaning properties eliminate the need for a separate cleaner. Make sure the product kills germs quickly and meets CDC saturation standard times

Active and Stable

Disinfectants should be stable in both concentrated and diluted forms. Since these products are often used in combination with cleaners, it’s important to choose formulas designed for compatibility. The disinfecting properties must be effective regardless of what other compounds are present during use.

Safe for People and Animals

Neither the antimicrobial product nor its residue should negatively affect you, your family, or your pets. This is an especially important consideration if someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma.

Environmentally Safe

Many disinfectants wind up going down the drains of sinks, tubs, or toilets, so choose formulas guaranteed to be safe once released into the environment. Beware of “greenwashing,” products that claim to be environmentally friendly without actually following through on the promise. Carefully read products’ labels to determine whether or not such marketing statements are true.

Leaves No Damage or Odor

You want a disinfecting product to kill germs, not strip the color from your kitchen counter or corrode faucets beyond recognition. Look for products compatible with all the surfaces you regularly clean, and check for unpleasant odors before buying. If a product smells so bad you can barely stand it, why bring it into your home?


Since killing unwanted germs is a major part of your regular cleaning regimen, you need a disinfecting product you can afford to buy on a regular basis. Look for the strongest, most effective formula possible at a price compatible with your household budget.

Straightforward Usage

You usually need to follow a specific cleaning procedure for a disinfectant to be effective. Labels should have clear instructions that tell you how to use the product, including how long you must leave it on a surface to eliminate the largest number of germs. Detailed instructions for proper storage and disposal should also be included.


Use this list of the characteristics of a good disinfectant to guide you when choosing cleaning products for your home. Combination products can cut cleaning time, but they may not have the antimicrobial power to eliminate all potential pathogens. Be mindful of the kinds of germs you’re most likely to encounter, and consider the health of your family and pets as you read labels. In addition, follow all instructions carefully to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the product.

If you want to kill 99% of all known viruses living outside the body, try the SafeSpace® Germ Fogger. It contains a hospital-grade, contact disinfectant, which generates 6,000 cubic feet of disinfectant and deodorizing fog. The can is 100% recyclable and EPA approved. Plus, it is safe for humans and animals as long as they are removed from the space during treatment. Finally, in addition to killing bacteria and germs, the Germ Fogger will eliminate stubborn, unpleasant odors and leave behind a freshly cleaned scent.

To purchase the Germ Fogger today, please visit the SafeSpace® website.

{"vars":{{"pagePostType":"post","pagePostType2":"single-post","pageCategory":["disinfectant"],"pagePostAuthor":"SafeSpace®"}} }