Top Rated Antiseptics – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018
If you want to keep your place or skin free from harmful microorganisms and you’re looking for the best antiseptic, this paragraph should help you get one step closer to making an informed decision. After we have examined various effective antiseptics for sale, customer feedback, and reviews of antiseptics, we think the first option to consider is the Betadine Antiseptic Ointment. Formulated to treat common skin infections and prevent infection in minor abrasions, cuts, and burns, this antiseptic will kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Applying it is easy and its brown color will show the area that has been treated as well as the activity of the antiseptic. What’s more, the product is non-stinging and non-irritating to the mucous membranes and skin. No need to worry about staining your skin or fabrics as the color of the product can be easily washed away. If this product is not available, your second option should be the BZK Cleansing Towelettes.
How to choose the best antiseptic
Using a good antiseptic to keep harmful microorganisms at bay is one of the most important steps to take in order to steer clear of infections and other health issues bacteria, viruses, and fungi trigger. Since the market is generous when it comes to such products, identifying the right one for your needs might be intimidating.
Just like when you’re on the lookout for a quality hand sanitizer for travel, a hand sanitizer with moisturizer to keep your skin clean and nourished, or a disinfectant spray for quick sanitizing, there are some features to consider in order to get the product that is best for you.
The market offers various types of antiseptic products and that’s one of the key factors that will help you start your search. Think of your particular needs to identify the right product.
Is it a soap you need? A mouthwash that will kill harmful microorganisms? Or perhaps an ointment to help you keep infections away from a wound or cut you have? Once you have the answer to this question, you will know what categories to target when hitting the search button.
Many people get confused when it comes to antiseptic and antibacterial products, or they rather think they are the same. They do kill pathogens yet their range of action and the way they work are different.
Thus, antibacterial products, as their name suggests, kill bacteria or hinder their reproduction whereas antiseptics inhibit the reproduction and growth of many more microorganisms including fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
The microorganisms it kills
More often than not, you will find products advertised as being capable of killing a wide range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. While there’s still much debate regarding such efficiency, there are antiseptic products that will indeed kill many such harmful microorganisms successfully. However, not all of them are ideal for all the disease-causing microorganisms.
It is best to check the label on the product for details regarding the bacteria it kills. A quality antiseptic should include all the necessary information. Therefore, steer clear of the antiseptic products that provide only general information and give no specific details on the germs they should kill. A cheap antiseptic is often very vague when it comes to such details.
No matter the type of antiseptic, antibacterial, and disinfectant product you’re looking for, be it antibacterial wipes, a new antibacterial mouthwash for daily use, or an antibacterial soap to keep a good hygiene, the safety of their use comes first.
Killing disease-causing germs is of huge importance but you must do so safely. Check the ingredient list. Many such products use chemicals that might prove harmful if used excessively. What’s more, the use of antibacterial agents such as triclosan can make bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.
Some of the most efficient antiseptics are povidone iodine and tincture of iodine. Keep these ingredients in mind when looking for a new antiseptic. However, you need to consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for details about how to use the product safely.
Avoid antiseptic products that include harsh chemicals that could trigger side effects. Make sure you opt for a product that comes from a known and appreciated brand and that is not irritating to the eye, skin, the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes. Moreover, consider the ingredients you have an allergic reaction to or that caused unwanted effects when using them before and eliminate them from your options.
Ease of use
Many antiseptics used in healthcare facilities, by doctors, and even those used by the average consumer have a brown color but a quality product won’t stain your skin or clothes. This is another difference between the various types of antiseptics out there. You know you’ve made a good decision if the one you use won’t leave any stains.
The brown color shows the activity of the product, therefore, while it is brown, it means it is working. Consider the ease of use as well. If it’s an antiseptic and antibacterial ointment the one you need, find one that is easy to apply on the skin area of your interest. Many such products require you to bandage or cover the area you’ve applied them on.
Finding an antiseptic that is both efficient and easy to use is, of course, desirable. If you’re not sure about a certain product, look for antiseptic reviews coming from people who actually tried it to learn more about its efficiency and use-related aspects.
The chemical agents used for many bacterial, fungicidal, sporicidal, and virucidal products have a strong odor that may prove to be disturbing for many consumers. That is another key factor you should consider to make sure you get the product that best caters to your needs.
While an antibacterial cream or an antibacterial soap for body odor is formulated with ingredients that eliminate or cover the unpleasant smell of the antibacterial agent used, there still are many products that challenge the consumer from an olfactory point of view. That’s why it is best to try the product before you buy it or at least smell it if possible. This way you will know if you can put up with the odor whenever you use it.
Budget and other considerations
Another factor that will help you simplify your search is the budget you have at your disposal. The market offers products for all budgets, yet you might want to keep your skepticism on when it comes to cheap formulas that claim great results. After all, you need to be sure that what you get is something that actually works and hand over your credit card only when you’ve found that product.
The use of antiseptics should be limited to those situations that really require such a product as many healthcare specialists recommend because excessive use will only help the bacteria grow their resistance to such products and thus may make them more harmful. Using them for essentially trivial uses on a regular basis is, therefore, a matter to consider.
Types of antiseptic solutions
Today’s market is rich in antiseptic products and finding the one you need may prove to be intimidating. Since there are many types of antiseptics formulated for specific uses, you should start your search by considering your personal need.
If it’s a skin wound, burn, or cut you need to take care of in order to heal and shield from disease-causing microorganisms, you might want to opt for a skin antiseptic such an antiseptic cream. In case your throat is the one affected, you need an antiseptic throat spray to stop microorganisms from growing and reproducing and thus to heal you.
Thanks to the latest innovations in this field, we can now find products with antiseptic benefits for humans and animals alike. Therefore, you can also find antiseptics for dogs and cats, too. Whatever your need is, consider the features mentioned above to make sure you get a product that is not only efficient but also safe.
Our 2018 list: Find the right antiseptic for your needs
Best antiseptic cream
Betadine Antiseptic Ointment
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can trigger all sorts of infections and health issues. To make sure that you won’t reach that, Betadine created this antiseptic ointment that can be used for common infections. Formulated with efficiency and ease of use in mind, this product is, therefore, the one we think you should consider first.
The antiseptic is ideal for treating common skin infections but also for preventing them from occurring in wounds, cuts, and burns. Moreover, it can be used on tinea, boils, paronychia, chicken pox, blisters, ringworm, or impetigo as the product is sporicidal, fungicidal, virucidal, and antibacterial.
The ointment contains povidone iodine, one of the most effective antiseptic agents. It has a brown color that will show you the area that has been treated as well as the activity of the antiseptic. The product is non-stinging and non-irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. It does not stain the skin it is used on.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.61)
Best antiseptic wipes
BZK Cleansing Towelettes
If you’re looking for a first aid antiseptic that is easy to use and convenient to carry with you even when on the go, the Antiseptic Cleansing Towelettes from BZK should also be on your list of options. The product is ideal for professional and hospital use, yet many customers have tried it for various personal uses as well.
The pack includes 100 packaged towelettes, each of them measuring 5×7 inches. These wipes are latex-free and contain benzalkonium chloride. They are used to prevent infection in scrapes, minor cuts, and burns. They can also be used for antiseptic cleansing wherever needed.
Using the towelettes is easy, their portability, convenience, and efficiency being the features many customers have praised in their reviews. You just need to clean the affected area and apply 1 to 3 times a day. You can cover the area with a bandage. If you choose not to, then let it dry freely.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($5.47)
Best skin antiseptic
Hibiclens Skin Cleanser
If you feel like your antibacterial soap bar is not enough to keep germs at bay and you want to supplement your daily cleansing routine with a quality skin antiseptic, you might want to consider this product from Hibiclens. The medical-grade liquid antimicrobial cleanser is ideal for general skin cleansing, pre-surgical skin prep, and hand washing as it reduces disease-causing bacteria.
The product was formulated to prevent skin infections and reduce the risk of cross-transfer. The Hibiclens Skin Cleanser has an antiseptic activity for an extended period of time. It will thus kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria for up to 24 hours after washing.
The product promises to be gentle on the skin even if used frequently. It is easy to use and carry when outdoors, which makes it a great option when you need to clean your hands but don’t have a sink and water at your disposal. Consider it if you need a sanitizer for hands.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.27)
Best antiseptic to clean wounds
In case your daily activities or even your job makes you prone to getting wounded and you need a good antiseptic to clean wounds, the Skintegrity from Medline is worth considering. The product is not only effective when it comes to killing harmful microorganisms and healing your wounds but it is also easy to use.
The antiseptic was formulated to make wound cleaning fast and easy regardless of the wound stage. You can easily change the spray from mist to stream delivery according to your needs. The item can be used to remove and reduce wound debris with a non-ionic surfactant.
The antiseptic spray is non-cytotoxic and is ideal for pressure injuries and infected and non-infected wounds. Many customers who tried it have reviewed it positively and appreciated it for its efficiency and ease of use. The product does not sting or burn and has been great at treating even surgical wounds.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.99)
Best antiseptic for dogs
Pet MD Medicated Shampoo
Just like humans, animals are prone to experiencing skin problems caused by all sorts of harmful microorganisms. If your dog is suffering from such an issue and you’re on the lookout for an antiseptic and antifungal shampoo, this product from Pet MD should not be ignored.
The paraben-free shampoo was formulated to help pet owners manage fungal and bacterial skin problems in cats, dogs, and horses. This product promises to kill common bacteria and yeast that cause skin problems. Moreover, it will remove odors and dirt and thus clean the inflamed and infected skin.
The antiseptic shampoo won’t just help relieve symptoms that are associated with bacterial and fungal infections but will also soothe irritating hot spots, allergic dermatitis, ringworm, and acne. The solution also helps with healing insect bites, superficial cuts, and abrasions. Thanks to the astringent properties, the product will dry the affected area, and promote a shiny coat and healthier skin.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.95)
Frequently asked questions about antiseptics
When should hand antiseptics be used?
Hand antiseptics should be used whenever you need your hands to be sterile, before eating, after using the toilet, after touching animals or handling raw food, etc. While there’s still much debate about the need and efficiency of such products, they do have ingredients that are not found in the soaps we use on a daily basis.
Some say that water and soap are enough to keep your hands clean but many hand antiseptics include a form of alcohol that works as an antiseptic. Non-alcohol hand antiseptics contain triclosan or triclocarban, which is an antibiotic compound that kills disease-causing microorganisms.
What is the difference between antiseptics and disinfectants?
Antiseptics and disinfectants are used to eliminate harmful microorganisms. The difference is in the way they are used. While an antiseptic is applied to living tissue or skin in order to prevent infection and on wounds, cuts, burns, and abrasions to promote healing and stop pathogens from causing infections, a disinfectant is applied to inanimate objects.
Therefore, we use disinfectants to sanitize the various surfaces, equipment, and objects we use. They are part of the products used in healthcare facilities, laboratories, and personal spaces. Antiseptics are local anti-infective agents that we use on animals and human beings.
Is hydrogen peroxide an antiseptic?
Yes, hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and has been used as one since the 1920s. The compound is made of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms and begins to break apart as soon as it contacts blood. It thus kills bacteria cells by destroying their cell walls through a process known as oxidation.
With damaged or completely broken walls, the bacteria cells are no longer dangerous. Hydrogen peroxide is typically used as a 3% solution for antiseptic purposes. The accepted range is 3-9%. When the concentration is somewhere between 10-30%, the compound will bleach the skin it is used on.
What is antiseptic mouthwash?
A mouthwash is used to help with various oral health issues, to prevent the buildup of plaque, to eliminate bad breath, and kill bacteria that trigger health problems. While antibacterial mouthwashes kill bacteria and prevent their reproduction, mouthwashes that contain antiseptics inhibit the growth and reproduction of various microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Therefore, an antiseptic mouthwash can kill a wider range of microorganisms. Today’s market offers many such products that include an antiseptic substance. However, using such a mouthwash does not mean brushing and flossing should be eliminated.
Is neosporin an antiseptic?
Both antiseptics and antibiotics fall under antimicrobials, which is a general category of compounds that kill microbes such as fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens. Neosporin is an antibiotic and, as the name suggests it, can only target bacteria. Therefore, it is used to kill and prevent these pathogens from growing.
It is used for small cuts and scrapes and it may help stave off infection. However, such a product won’t help with existing infections, burns, or pain and itching. Antiseptics have a wider range of action and are mainly used to deter the growth of various microorganisms that are not limited to bacteria.
Is vinegar an antiseptic?
Vinegar is often used as a safer bleach alternative for cleaning various objects. When it comes to its antiseptic uses, there is still much debate. Even if it is not a registered disinfectant, vinegar is said to be a good antiseptic solution for sunburns, cuts, and abrasions.
What enables it to have these properties is the main substance in it, acetic acid, that can kill harmful bacteria and stop them from reproducing. It does not kill dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus, though. Therefore, even if it does have some efficiency as far as disinfecting a surface is regarded, it might not be safe to rely only on vinegar when in need of an antiseptic.
Is hand sanitizer an antiseptic?
As long as it contains alcohol or other antiseptic substances, it can be used as an antiseptic. Although hand sanitizers don’t replace soap and water if your hands are dirty, they help fight many harmful microorganisms along with regular hand washing.
If the hand sanitizer contains at least 60 percent antiseptic substance or alcohol such as isopropanol alcohol, which is rubbing alcohol, the product will kill different kinds of bacteria and microbial cells. Therefore, while water and soap remove dirt and some potential pathogens, an alcohol/antiseptic-based hand sanitizer will kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Some products claim to kill 99.99% of the bacteria on hands in just 30 seconds.
Does antiseptic mouthwash kill bacteria?
Mouthwashes are used to help prevent oral health issues such as bad breath, plaque, and bacteria that can trigger all sorts of problems. While not all mouthwashes contain antiseptic substances such as alcohol, those that do come with such ingredients kill harmful microorganisms.
There are voices saying that, unfortunately, such products will also kill the good bacteria in your mouth, which can trigger microbiome imbalance. It is, thus, safer to avoid regular mouthwashes that contain antiseptic or antimicrobial substances such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorhexidine if they do kill the beneficial microorganisms in your mouth, too.
Is bleach an antiseptic?
Some people prefer to call antiseptics only the products that can be applied to a living skin and tissue in order to kill disease-causing microorganisms and limit the use of the term disinfectant to those products that have the same effect on inanimate objects and surfaces. However, we could say that bleach is an antiseptic if we are to talk about its ability to kill pathogens.
The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which kills fungi, viruses, and bacteria by denaturing the protein in such microorganisms. It is known to kill dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E. coli, and Salmonella.
What is the difference between an antibiotic and an antiseptic?
One of the differences between an antibiotic and an antiseptic is suggested by their name. An antibiotic targets only bacteria and is thus limited to certain harmful microorganisms. It kills and stops certain bacteria from growing. An antiseptic has a wider range of action and kills not only bacteria but also viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Another difference is in the way they work. Antiseptics slow and weaken the growth of bacteria and other pathogens, which prevent the dangerous microorganisms from causing infection. Antibiotics will kill the bacteria instead and possibly some other parasites and fungi.