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Virkon is a multi-purpose disinfectant. It contains oxone (potassium peroxymonosulfate), sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, sulfamic acid; and inorganic buffers. It is typically used for cleaning up hazardous spills, disinfecting surfaces and soaking equipment. The solution is used in many areas, including hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes, funeral homes, medical, dental and veterinary facilities, and anywhere else where control of pathogens is required.[1]

Virkon has a wide spectrum of activity against viruses, some fungi, and bacteria.[2] However, it is less effective against spores and fungi than some alternative disinfectants.[3]

Preparation and use[edit]

It is sold as tablets or powder which dissolve readily in water. It is intended to be mixed with water to form a 1% to 3% solution (by weight, i.e. 10g to 30g per litre). The pink colour is useful in that it helps gauge the concentration when preparing the Virkon, and importantly, as the Virkon ages it discolours, making it obvious when it needs to be replaced. The solution is generally stable for five to seven days.

Virkon has a faint raspberry odour, but the scent is still considered unpleasant by some. Virkon disinfectant can cause skin irritation or corrosion, more so in the powder form. It can cause serious eye damage and should not be used as a hand-washing liquid. Particular care should be taken when using the powder form, it may become airborne and irritate eyes and the respiratory tract. It also has the potential to cause fire when contact with combustible materials occurs.

Virkon is a registered trademark of Antec International Limited, a subsidiary of DuPont.


  1. ^ Antec International (2003). Virkon Broad Spectrum Disinfectant (EPA Label). Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Gasparini, R.; T. Pozzi, R. Magnelli, D. Fatighenti, E. Giotti, G. Poliseno, M. Pratelli, R. Severini, P. Bonanni, L. De Feo (1995-04-01). "Evaluation of in vitro efficacy of the disinfectant Virkon". European Journal of Epidemiology 11 (2): 193–197. doi:10.1007/BF01719487. PMID 7672075. 
  3. ^ Hernndez, A.; E. Martró, L. Matas, M. Martín, V. Ausina (2000-11). "Assessment of in-vitro efficacy of 1% Virkon against bacteria, fungi, viruses and spores by means of AFNOR guidelines". Journal of Hospital Infection 46 (3): 203–209. doi:10.1053/jhin.2000.0818. ISSN 0195-6701. PMID 11073729. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

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