TYPES OF DISINFECTANTS ALCOHOLS —these kill bacteria and fungi but not endospores and most viruses. Alcohol acts mainly by denaturing proteins, but it can also disrupt membranes and dissolve lipids. Alcohols evaporate rapidly, leaving no residue. Alcohols are frequently used as skin degerming agents. Wiping with alcohol mostly wipes away microbes, skin oils, and dirt, although some microbes may be killed. Alcohols are not satisfactory for cleaning open wounds, because they coagulate a surface layer of protein and leave bacteria unharmed beneath it. a. ETHANOL (ethyl alcohol)—70 % concentration is ideal, although concentrations of 60 - 95 % are effective. 100% is not effective because some water must be present for denaturation to occur. b. ISOPROPANOL (isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol)—more commonly used because it is cheaper and more effective. Usual concentration is 90%.
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