There is a massive variety of cleaning products on the market and choosing the best sanitising products for your business can be overwhelming! Are sanitising wipes or sprays more effective? Are antibacterial household cleaning products all-purpose? Is antibacterial and disinfectant the same thing? We know from experience that many people struggle to understand the difference between antibacterial cleaners and disinfectants. So, we’ve written this blog to answer some of your queries and help you pick the right cleaning supplies for your needs.

What are antibacterial cleaners used for?

Antibacterial household cleaning products contain chemicals that stop the growth of bacteria. Bacteria spread rapidly because they reproduce and multiply quickly in a short space of time.

An anti bacterial spray will prevent bacteria from multiplying and many antibacterial cleaning products claim to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria once applied.

Types of antibacterial cleaners

You can purchase residue and non-residue antibacterial cleaning products.

Non-residue options include sanitising products like bleach and peroxide. Whereas, a residue antibacterial cleaning solution leaves a layer of agent on the surface and is designed to offer long-lasting protection against bacteria.

What are disinfectant cleaners used for?

Cleaning disinfectant products are designed to kill any germs and bacteria that they come into contact with.

Most disinfectants contain strong cleaning chemicals like bleach or peroxide, although these chemicals are diluted so that the cleaning product is safe to use in homes or offices.

Main purpose of disinfectant cleaners

The main purpose of antibacterial disinfectant products is to eliminate germs and bacteria. This means you might need to use additional sanitising products to remove dirt or residues.

For instance, you can use an antibacterial disinfectant spray to remove sticky residue from a hard surface and then go over it with a disinfectant cleaning product. This will ensure that the surface is clean and disinfected.

Is disinfectant the same as bleach?

Bleach is a common type of disinfectant that can be used to kill most types of bacteria and viruses. Bleach is made from sodium hypochlorite diluted in water and it is a highly effective disinfectant.

However, bleach can also be destructive and cannot be used on all surfaces e.g. fabrics. Some surfaces will require a non-bleach disinfectant so be mindful when you use it.

Person using disinfectant spray

What’s the difference between disinfectant and antibacterial spray?

Disinfectant sprays Antibacterial sprays
You should let a disinfectant spray sit on a surface for a minimum or 20-30 seconds to ensure that the area is disinfected successfully. Most antibacterial sprays need to be left to sit for longer in order to be effective e.g. several minutes.
High-quality disinfectants, e.g. Byotrol 4-in-1 antibacterial disinfectant spray, can protect surfaces for up to 24 hours. Antibacterial sprays generally need to be reapplied more regularly to be effective.

Disinfectant sprays are highly effective at killing germs and bacteria, but many don’t contain detergents.

This means you may need to use additional cleaning products to remove dirt or residues from the area.

You should use a disinfectant cleaning product alongside an antibacterial spray if you want to eliminate germs and viruses.

Which cleaning product is best for office cleaning?

Antibacterial cleaners and disinfectants have similarities and many antibacterial products are also disinfectants. However, it’s important to understand the difference between antibacterial and disinfectant cleaners and pick the right solution for your needs. Pro Tip: Multiple cleaning items are often needed to ensure optimal levels of cleanliness and hygiene.
A person wearing full PPE holds a biohazard sign

How can I protect my office against Covid-19?

If you are trying to protect your office from Covid-19, then an antibacterial cleaning spray will not be effective because Covid-19 is spread by a virus, not bacteria.

Whereas, an antibacterial disinfectant spray like Byotrol 4 in 1 has been proven to kill 99.99% of known bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus and offers 24-hour lasting protection against Covid-19.

Should I still use an antibacterial cleaner?

However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop using antibacterial cleaning items in your office. There are lots of other germs and bacteria besides Covid-19 and using antibacterial cleaning products will help to protect your employees from common illnesses.

Antibacterial surface cleaners and sanitising wipes can be highly effective at cleaning high-touch areas like phones, keyboards, and light switches.

When cleaning your office, the best approach is to use an all-purpose antibacterial cleaning spray to remove dirt and then follow up with an antiviral disinfectant to kill any remaining germs and bacteria.

Keyboard being wiped with sanitiser

Final thoughts

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of sanitation in the office and it has never been more crucial to keep your facility clean and hygienic. It can be difficult to choose the right sanitising products when there are so many cleaning supplies available on the market. At Ultima, we sell a wide range of industrial cleaning supplies and pro-clean products that are suitable for a wide variety of environments. Browse our extensive range of cleaning items and buy cleaning products online in the Ultima Store.

Contact Ultima for advice on cleaning products

If you feel overwhelmed and want help picking essential cleaning products for your business, then get in touch today. Our team has more than 20 years of experience providing industrial cleaning services throughout the UK and we are always happy to help!


Is antibacterial spray the same as disinfectant spray?

No, antibacterial and disinfectant are not the same. Most disinfectant solutions are stronger and more effective against a wider range of harmful pathogens than antibiotic sprays. Disinfectant solutions are specially formulated to kill germs, viruses AND bacteria whereas antibacterial products are only proven to kill bacteria.

Is antibacterial spray the same as disinfectant spray?

Antibacterial sprays contain chemicals that stop the growth of bacteria, whereas disinfectant sprays are designed to eliminate germs, bacteria, and viruses. Disinfectant sprays generally offer faster and longer protection whereas antibacterial solutions require a longer sitting time and need to be reapplied more frequently.

What is the difference between antibacterial and disinfectant wipes?

Antibacterial wipes are specifically designed to target and eliminate bacteria on hard surfaces. They are often used for general cleaning tasks like cleaning countertops and tables. Disinfectant wipes, on the other hand, are designed to target a wider range of pathogens and microorganisms. They are commonly used in healthcare settings and other areas where there is a need to reduce the risk of infection or cross-contamination.