Disinfectant chemicals are powerful agents designed to reduce or kill microorganisms that are airborne, surface-borne and waterborne. Disinfectants function by destroying the outer cell wall of all kinds of microbes, disabling them from generating proteins that causes elimination of bacteria, fungus, viruses, germs and other microbial species on the surfaces. These are widely used for disinfecting hospitals, kitchen, bathrooms, dental surgeries, and other area prone to bacterial infections.
Disinfectants differ from sterilization, which provide better effectiveness by killing pathogens too. The former has the ability to kill more germs than sanitizer. They are used on inert surfaces, while antibiotics are used to destroy microorganisms within the body; and antiseptics are used to destroy pathogens on living tissue. Different types of disinfectant chemicals are alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, chlorine and chlorine compounds, ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA), phenolics, peracetic acid, glutaraldehyde, iodophors and several others.