Due to the influence of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), alcohol for hand disinfection is installed in restaurants and supermarkets. Consumer awareness has also changed and people are now rubbing their hands with alcohol more often than before. Rubbing alcohol is always in short supply as equipment is disinfected more frequently than before.

Review about disinfection with alcohol

Alcohol has long been used for food preservation and beverages by utilizing its bactericidal effect. Today, it is used for disinfecting fingers at medical sites and disinfecting equipment at restaurants and food processing sites. Since it can be easily purchased at drug stores, it is widely used for disinfection in general households and if there are critters pest control like Beaverton would help with that.

The bactericidal effect of alcohol and the types of alcohol.

Bactericidal effect of alcohol

The exact sterilization mechanism of alcohol is still unknown. It is generally believed that alcohol kills the virus by destroying the lipid membrane that covers it. Therefore, alcohol does not work well against viruses that do not have a lipid membrane (non-enveloped). Typical envelope viruses are influenza virus and coronavirus. Non-enveloped viruses include norovirus and rotavirus.

Commonly used alcohol

Alcohol generally refers to ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Ethanol has the same main component as alcoholic beverages for beverages, but be aware that if it is handled alone, it will be subject to the Liquor Tax Law. Therefore, alcohol for disinfection and sterilization is prevented from being diverted to beverages by adding a denaturing agent that is difficult to separate. Alcohol containing a denaturing agent is called denatured alcohol.

Alcohol type

If you go to a drug store, you will find many types of alcohol. There are four main types of alcohol.

  • Alcohol for pharmaceuticals used for therapeutic purposes
  • Designated quasi-drug alcohol for hand disinfection
  • Food additive alcohol for food, equipment and utensils
  • Alcohol for beverages

The four alcohols have the same ingredients, the difference being the alcohol concentration and the presence or absence of additives .

Rubbing alcohol

Since the alcohol concentration of quasi-drugs is set at 76.9-81.4v / v%, there is almost no difference in the effect depending on the product. Some products contain additives such as glycerin to prevent rough hands. In addition to ethanol, many products containing benzalkonium, chlorhexidine lucon, isopropanol, etc. are also on sale.

Absolute ethanol

Absolute ethanol refers to pharmaceutical alcohol containing 99.5v / v% or more of ethanol. High-purity ethanol that contains almost no water. A common use is for cleaning equipment such as around the kitchen. Since it dries very quickly, it is suitable for cleaning precision machinery that should not get wet.

It cannot be used for disinfecting fingers because the alcohol content is too high and the hands may get rough when used. However, if you dilute the alcohol content to about 70-80% with water, you can use it as alcohol for hand sanitizer. Anhydrous alcohol is extremely flammable, so store and use it in a place free from static electricity.

Alcohol substitute

So far, we’ve reviewed rubbing alcohol. However, nowadays, rubbing alcohol is very difficult to obtain due to the rapid increase in alcohol usage in many places.

Beverage alcohol

The main component of drinking alcohol is ethanol, which is the same as rubbing alcohol. It depends on whether it contains a denaturing agent that is different from rubbing alcohol. The denaturant is mixed to prevent the conversion of industrial alcohol to beverage alcohol.