What Are the 2 Main Methods of Disinfection?

Kitchen being disinfected

Germs and infections can spread easily in a home. This can occur when the house is soiled or when you come into contact with body fluids, such as blood or urine. A person’s saliva when they cough or sneeze, can spread germs as well.

Washing your hands and cleaning your house regularly can help reduce the spreading of germs. However, wiping commonly accessed surfaces with a damp cloth and water is not enough to kill more potent viruses such as the coronavirus. A proper home disinfection is required in order to properly reduce the risks of spreading any viruses.

Disinfecting means using soap or another cleaner to get rid of germs by lowering the number of bacteria to a level low enough that disease is unlikely to occur.

Many disinfectants are used alone or in combinations for example hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid in the healthcare setting. Most commercially sold disinfectants are based on widely used chemicals such as alcohol or chlorine and are registered with the EPA or cleared by the FDA.


Disinfectants are not interchangeable therefore, users should read labels carefully to use the appropriate product with the right concentration. It has been found that there have been occupational diseases among cleaning staff due to some of these disinfectants therefore, precautions must be made to minimise direct exposure for example, gloves and proper ventilation or knowledge and experience in applying these disinfectants carefully and thoroughly.

Home disinfection services are important to protect household members from harmful germs, infections and diseases.


There are two main methods of disinfection: Chemical and Physical  

The most widely used chemical agent is chlorine and other agents that have been used in disinfectants are ozone, ClO2, the halogens bromine and iodine and bromine chloride, alcohols, soaps, detergents and various alkalis and acids, metals copper and silver, KMnO4, phenol and phenolic compounds.

ClO2 is particularly effective in breaking down phenolic compounds that often cause severe taste and odour problems when reacted with chlorine. It exists in a gas state and photo-oxidises when in contact with light. Therefore it must be generated on site. While it is mainly used in wastewater disinfection, chlorine dioxide has also been used in potable water treatment as well to remove the taste and odour for it to be suitable for drinking.

Physical agents of disinfection include ultraviolet light (UV), sonification, gamma-ray irradiation, electron beam and heat. It is similarly used to in wastewater disinfection, as the electron beam uses an electron generator to direct beams into wastewater to be disinfected. In sonification, a vibrating-disk generator produces high-frequency ultrasonic sound waves to rattle microorganisms and break them into small pieces.

Assessing the Safety of Handling These Chemicals  

Other than ensuring that it is safe to use for and around people, it is important to determine if it is safe to use on the surfaces it is applied to as some disinfectant chemicals can cause corrosion, or stains or are harder to dispose of due to its flammable nature. As mentioned previously, some will even require a personal protective equipment to deal with these chemicals safely.

Some characteristics of a good chemical disinfectant are:

  • Its ability to destroy a vast range of microorganisms

  • Fast-acting and short contact time

  • Not affected by the presence of other substances i.e. organic matter

  • Non-toxic and non-corrosive or non-destructive to materials or surfaces which it is applied on

  • Should leave a residual antimicrobial film on the treated surface

  • Water-soluble and easy to apply

  • Inexpensive and easy to prepare

  • Stable under storage and shipping conditions

  • Odourless

Disinfect Your Homes with Pestbusters 

Pests are an obvious sign that there is a significant amount and risk of infection in your space due to the presence of germs, bacteria and viruses. Arrange for a home disinfection service to ensure that your residence or work place is clean and safe for the long run.

While household disinfectants will claim their effectiveness against most viruses, they might not be strong enough against pests and prevent them from returning for good.

As such, you should turn to the experts at Pestbusters who are equipped with the proper products and equipment, along with many years of experience to properly disinfect your home and office and protect them from any forms of potential infestation. Call +65 6288 2828 or enquire online today!