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Soap = antiseptic? Y/N[edit]

Ok, I'm going to ask this here because I don't know. Soap is a powerful antibacterial agent because it disrupts cell membranes. It can be used on the surfaces of the skin. Is soap (or detergents in general) an antiseptic? Dwmyers 22:30, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't know but this lecture suggests that soap is a disinfectant theresa knott 12:12, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Soap/detergent may be used to treat infections, but I don't think it is because it is any kind of antiseptic. It simply removes the pathogens and their food source through emulsification.

Also, Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) is NOT an antiseptic. It is a disinfectant. "Atiseptic" implies a substance that can routinely be used on skin. --LanceVictor 17:18, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

In fact, sodium hypochlorite can be used as a skin/wound antiseptic, provided that the concentration of it does not exceed 0.5-1.0% and that the pH of the solution is adjusted to 7-8 (a 0.5% aqueous NaClO with pH neutralised towards 7 by boric acid and is colored by 0.05% potassium permanganate is known as Daquin's solution (or, la solution de Daquin, in french)). It was, along with diluted phenolic solutions and tincture of iodine/Lugol's iodine one of the very first antiseptics used mainly in continetnal Europe from about 1860's to 1920's. It had a very good microbicidal effect and was along with Lugol's iodine the most potent antiseptic used.--Spiperon 00:28, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Treating yeast infections?[edit]

"Uses in suppositories to treat yeast infections of the vagina"? Should that be "pessaries" or should there be a comma in that? Is it true at all? - Anon

It's certainly true Iris. See:

[1] or

[2] or

[3] or many more onj the web. theresa knott 09:50, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Mercurochrome -- any real evidence to support "reportedly works better than any other antiseptic"? I don't think that it's completely accurate to say that the U.S. FDA banned its distribution. The FDA removed it from the generally recognized as safe and effective list. A new producer of mercurochrome would have to go through the FDA's approval process. (Of course in practice, this will never happen since mercurochrome isn't patented.) The phrase "ostensibly due to the mercury poisoning scare" is blatently POV. -- 07:42, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Who uses salt as an antiseptic?

Noone any more. However, it was used historically. See Salting. GeeJo (t)(c) • 09:38, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

What about colloidal silver?[edit]

I guess this one is missing from the list...

Maybe this is because colloidal silver doesn't have proven antiseptic effect. (talk) 18:48, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

How about Ethyl Green aka 'Zelyonka' in a list of 'Some common antiseptics'?[edit]

Ethyl Green is widely used both at homes and in clinics in exUSSR, probably even frequently than Iodine or Hydrogen peroxide. AntonBreusov

RfX (Request for expansion :-] ): Microbial resistance?[edit]

Can someone who works in an appropriate field (chemistry, pharmaceuticals, medicine, biology, etc) write a section on microbial resistance to antiseptics? That is, does it exist, can it develop over the years (if not, why), etc. Thanks. — Lumbercutter 15:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

It is commonly thought that either limes or lemons have antiseptic properties. Is this true?

Ethacridine lactate should be added to the list of antiseptics[edit]

It is reasonably common outside North America, effective, and has some interesting properties (including immunomodulative ones when used on open wounds; see

ThVa (talk) 09:05, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

How it works[edit]

The how it works section essentially does not say anything about how an antiseptic actually works. --Spud Gun (talk) 15:15, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Added a {{cleanup-section}} tag. --Spud Gun (talk) 12:19, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Products Including This[edit]

-Mouth wash —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Negative Effects ?[edit]

Wikipedia is supposed to be educational; it's not a propagandaPedia. The section "Negative Effects" implies that there really is a negative effect whereas when you read it, it only states a theory (and worse, it links to evolution which is again another theory yet to be proven). Why I came here to the talk page? Because my brother told me to stop using antiseptic and let my wounds heal by itself because using antiseptic "has negative effects" which is developing terrifying super-microbes that cannot be killed by presently known antiseptics. I asked him who told him that. He said wikipedia and he gave me this link. Yes. its terrifying how wikipedia miseducate people. This section must be enhanced or rewritten not to be easily misunderstood or not to be misleading to the readers. And one more thing, when the section title says "Negative Effects", it should mean negative effects, not a "theoretical possible negative effects". Maybe editors can change the title to the more appropriate phrase. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:54, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

"celicular single helix microbes"[edit]

Huh, does this even mean anything? I'm pretty sure "celicular" isn't actually a word and "single helix microbes" is just as meaningless. The closest thint to a meaning I could come up with for the latter is either something like helicobacter pylori or sphirochetes, and even then there's no particular reason to test antiseptics against them in particular. Seriously, the whole sentence here reads like scifi technobabble or something made by google translate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


Just noting that the Microcyn article with the same content was deleted for advertising. Instead of deletion, the potential for PH-neutral solutions could be mentioned in the Sodium Hypochlorite section. As is, Microcyn is the only trademark in the list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:33, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Found a Link for Antiseptic Hydrogen Peroxide citation[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Antiseptics are generally distinguished from antibiotics by the latter's ability to be transported through the lymphatic system to destroy bacteria within the body[edit]

This is rubbish, and contradicts the main article on antibiotics.

So an antibiotic has the "ability to be transported through the lymphatic system"? Well, I could take anything and inject it into the circulatory system and it will, sooner or later, get into the lymphatic system.

An antibiotic is a substance produced by one microbe which is active against another. It's that simple. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

It's obviously not that simple. Your definition contradicts the fact that most things that are called antibiotics are actually synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. (talk) 13:04, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

unsourced "common antiseptics"[edit]

moving here per WP:PRESERVE:

-- Jytdog (talk) 23:17, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

functionality - unsourced[edit]

been unsourced since 2012


Bacterial growth requires a food supply, moisture, oxygen (if the bacteria are obligate aerobes), and a certain minimum temperature (see bacteriology). These conditions have been studied and dealt with in food preservation and the ancient practice of embalming the dead, which is the earliest known systematic use of antiseptics.

In early inquiries before microbes were understood, much emphasis was given to the prevention of putrefaction, and procedures were carried out to determine the amount of agent that must be added to a given solution to prevent the development of pus and putrefaction; however, due to a lack of a developed understanding of germ theory, this method was inaccurate and, today, an antiseptic is judged by its effect on pure cultures of a defined microbe and/or its vegetative and spore forms. The standardization of antiseptics has been implemented in many instances, and a water solution of phenol of a certain fixed strength is now used as the standard to which other antiseptics are compared.

The fundamental idea of all anti-pathogenic agents is to exploit a difference between parasite and host. For bacteria, that may involve interfering with their cell walls or internal biochemistry which differs from humans'.

Pathogens show a total-dose response: if you expose them to a dilute solution for a long time, this is equivalent to dosing them with a strong solution for less time. This makes the pre-industrial medical notion of poultice clear: weaker antiseptics require longer exposure. This is true for many chemical antibiotics as well as heat and UV exposure.

-- Jytdog (talk) 23:19, 3 December 2016 (UTC)