Low-level disinfection kills some viruses, bacteria and fungi.

When to Use

  • Use on non-critical items.
  • Use on items that contact intact skin and not mucous membranes, or items that do not ordinarily touch the client.
  • May be used for routine housekeeping.

Remember the following:

  • the solution must be made fresh daily to preserve strength
  • the bottle must be labelled
  • clean before applying the disinfectant
  • follow the contact time
  • household bleach is 5.25% sodium hypochlorite solution (50,000ppm available chlorine)

Active ingredients for this low-level disinfectant

  • 1:500 chlorine bleach solution
  • 1 part bleach and 499 parts water
  • 100 ppm (parts per million)

Immersion contact times (approximate)

  • 10 minutes

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast-acting

Disadvantages

  • Corrodes metal
  • May destroy adhesives with prolonged soaking
  • Solution is to be made daily

Active ingredient for this low level disinfectant

  • 3% hydrogen peroxide

Immersion contact times (approximate)

  • 10 minutes

Advantages

  • Environmentally safe

Disadvantages

  • Oxidizing properties may be destructive to some equipment (brass, zinc, copper, nickel and silver)
  • May destroy adhesives with prolonged soaking.

Active ingredient for this low-level disinfectant

  • Phenols

Immersion contact times (approximate)

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Advantages

  • Easy to obtain
  • Cleans and disinfects

Disadvantages

  • Residual phenols on porous materials may cause tissue irritation even when thoroughly rinsed.
  • For environmental surfaces only

Active ingredient for this low-level disinfectant

  • Quaternary ammonium

Immersion contact times (approximate)

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Advantages

  • Good cleaning agent for environmental surfaces

Disadvantages

  • Cannot be used on instruments
  • Not recommended as an antiseptic

More information

Print versions available upon request in the following languages

For a copy of this document in the following languages, please email us at BodySafe@toronto.ca

  • 中文 / Chinese
  • 한국어 / Korean
  • Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese