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How to Choose the Right Disinfection Alcohol?

How to Choose the Right Disinfection Alcohol?

Nowadays, pocket-sized disinfection alcohol has become one of the indispensable items to carry when we go out. However, how you know if this small bottle of alcohol can actually help you to kill germs? The safety and efficacy of the disinfection products are undoubtedly crucial, but to use the correct container is also very important! Let´s find out more…...

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, hospital grade disinfectants should contain 60% - 80% of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol to effectively kill bacteria and viruses. Can we use a product with an even higher alcohol concentration? In fact, higher than 80% alcohol may not be a good choice for disinfection! Research has indicated that if 100% pure ethanol or isopropanol is used for disinfection, the contact time between the alcohol and bacteria will be too short, and without water as the medium, the alcohol may not be able to kill microorganisms effectively.


Since alcohol is an organic solvent, it may dissolve plastic. Therefore, when buying disinfection alcohol in plastic bottles, consumers should also pay attention to the resin identification code displayed inside a triangle sign (formed by arrows) at the bottom of the container. Containers marked with No. 2 (high-density polyethylene or HDPE) or No. 5 (polypropylene or PP) are more suitable for storing alcohol. Containers made from other types of plastic are not recommended for alcohol storage, especially No. 3 (polyvinyl chloride or PVC). This is because PVC generally contains plasticizers, and can be dissolved by high concentrations of alcohol and may even release toxins!

Stop using any disinfection alcohol that contains methanol! Inhalation or ingestion of high concentration of Methanol may cause poisoning, and lead to central nervous system symptoms and metabolic acidosis. Long-term exposure to methanol may even induce loss of sight and kidney failure. Furthermore, methanol is very volatile and cannot effectively kill microorganisms, and is therefore not recommended for disinfection use.

Want to know where to buy the right disinfection alcohol? Please refer to the article “Toxic Methanol was Detected in 6 Disinfection Alcohol Samples. Over 80% Samples with Actual Alcohol Concentration or Net Volume Lower than Claims.CHOICE Magazine, Issue 522  (Chinese version only).. The Consumer Council tested 24 samples of disinfection alcohol from various pharmacy stores from different district. Consumers can get a comprehensive comparison of the disinfection alcohol in its volume, total alcohol content and find useful information on disinfection from this

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