20 January 2010

SDS + NaOH = Effective Disinfectant

'Definitely many times better than rubbing alcohol.

Researchers in Berlin, Germany have come up with a simple disinfectant that is effective against bacteria (including the tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria), fungal spores, non-enveloped viruses (includes the common cold, wart, and hepatitis A viruses) and prions.

The effective formulation is a mixture of 0.2% SDS and 0.3% NaOH in 20% n-propanol.

SDS is sodium dodecyl sulfate, a known surfactant already used in cleaning and hygiene products.

NaOH is sodium hydroxide, a chemical most science students know about in their chemistry experiments. It is also known as lye or caustic soda.

n-Propanol is an alcohol commonly used as a solvent in the pharmaceutical industry.

According to the researchers, these chemicals are inexpensive, simple to prepare, and were found to be effective in eliminating infectious agents in 20 minutes or less of exposure. With the never-ending onslaught of infections in our daily lives, this is certainly a welcome development.

SOURCE: Journal of General Virology 91 (2010), 580-589
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