Can Surfactants Be A Disinfectant?

Can Surfactants Be A Disinfectant?

What Are Surfactants?

Surfactants are an aqueous-based chemical compound, which primarily decreases the surface tension from any stage of matter (besides plasma) and liquids. This includes removing the surface tension from a mix of two liquids, a liquid and a solid, and a liquid and a gas. Surfactants are also exceptionally easy to find, especially here at EcoLink.

Surfactants are capable of disinfecting various surfaces and are known as some of the best cleaning agents. The reasoning for this is that surfactants make the surface tension of water lower by altering the energy of chemical relationships, which, in turn, ruins the cell membrane of bacteria, killing them.

Although surfactants, in general, are good disinfectants, certain surfactant variations are more efficient than others:

  • Cationic surfactants are easier and better to clean with because they deodorize anything that you wipe up. It’s what gives cleaning products the ability to remove unwanted odors.
  • Anionic surfactants and other polymers don’t work as well as cationic surfactants. This is due to insoluble precipitate that occurs when used against quaternary ammonium compounds. The insoluble precipitate causes solid products in the reaction (in this case of surfactants), which hampers the surfactant from dissolving quicker. Despite this, the difference is often minuscule which is why anionic surfactants are still present in many cleaning products.

How Covid Has Affected Purchasing Products

With the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, disinfectants are becoming more and more expensive, but surfactants remain a great choice. Specific models such as the NP9/N95 are workhorses; they will clean almost anything, even assisting in major oil spills! If that doesn’t fit your needs, you can also try the Biosurf 91-6 model, which is a good, low-cost option and is better for the environment.

Overall, surfactants are an amazing tool for controlling the disinfecting process. Some surfactants are more convenient than others, but different needs will be met by different variations. To see our selection of surfactant variations to meet your needs contact us here.