Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Antiseptic and Disinfectant

Antiseptic vs Disinfectant

Antiseptics and disinfectants may seem to be the same, however there is one large difference between the two. Antiseptics are used on living tissues and cells to destroy any types of infections or sepsis which may be living on the tissue. Disinfectants are meant to destroy microorganisms which can infect nonliving objects. Disinfectants are commonly used on household items to protect germs and colds from spreading to people. Antiseptics are typically used in the form of sanitizers when hand washing is not available, and in cases where bacteria exist and should be removed. An antiseptic and a disinfectant are made for destroying bacteria and killing potential germs and disease.

There are many types of disinfectants which are available to clean homes. There are simple air disinfectants which are said to free the air of airborne germs which can cause illness. Nowadays, many companies are adding air fresheners to air disinfectants to make a room smell cleaner. There are oxidizing disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide, which is used to disinfect medical centers and tools with. There is one form of disinfectant which is sometimes used on living tissue, contrary to its definition. Alcohol is used at home as a disinfectant when someone gets a cut. Disinfectants are harmful if ingested and should not be used on any surfaces which will be eaten on or off of. Additionally, they should not be used in conjunction with acids and ammonias, as the result could be toxic.

Antiseptics are typically used to clean off a surface which may come into contact with the mouth or eyes at some point, it is considered safer than a disinfectant. Antiseptics are common in items such as mouthwash, eyewashes, cold sores, and yeast infection treatment creams. There are other forms of antiseptics which are used to treat symptoms of gingivitis and minor skin ailments. They are safe to use in these cases and are key ingredients in making these items work as they do. With specific treatments from these certain antiseptics, bacteria is typically greatly diminished or removed from the person.

Antiseptics and disinfectants are terms that are used interchangeably, however the differences between the two are quite numerous; too many to continue interchanging the words antiseptic and disinfectant.


1. Antiseptics are used on living tissues and disinfectants are used on non-living items, both to protect the spreading of germs and infection to humans and animals.
2. Disinfectants are used in homes and businesses to disinfect items which could transmit germs. Antiseptics are used to clean areas of the body which are prone to infection or deep clean.
3. Common antiseptics include mouthwash, cold sore, and yeast infection treatment creams. Disinfectants are commonly found in household cleaning products for kitchens, bathrooms, and other commonly touched items where germs are found. Both items can be found in common household items and in sterilized medical facilities.
4. Disinfectants and some antiseptics are harmful if ingested. Both items are used to treat numerous types of bacteria, germs, and even some parasites.

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  1. thank you for the useful article. the second paragraph says that disinfectants are harmful and should not be used on surfaces that will be eaten on or off of.However u mentioned later that disinfectants are used in kitchen cleaning products. Which I assume are sprays for tables and all..the kitchen being an eating place..are those products harmful to use shall they get ingested?

    and air freshners with disinfectants? are they bad ?

    • In my opinions
      Maybe most of the disinfectants are harmful,toxic and dangerous when ingested and few of them are less dangerous examples the kitchen sprays but that doesn’t mean they’re fully safe to have mouth contact with them

  2. I love that
    it was helpful
    send me more update okey

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