How to Choose the Best Disinfectant for Cleaning Surfaces: A Comprehensive Guide

In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best disinfectant for cleaning surfaces. From understanding the types of disinfectants to their efficacy against different viruses, bacteria, and fungi, we cover everything you need to know to keep your home and workplace safe and hygienic.
6 March, 2023 by
How to Choose the Best Disinfectant for Cleaning Surfaces: A Comprehensive Guide
XO2® Pty Ltd, David Blamire

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all acutely aware of the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. We've become more vigilant about washing our hands and disinfecting our surroundings to prevent the spread of the virus. But with so many disinfectants available in the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs? In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best disinfectant for cleaning your surfaces.

The Types of Disinfectants

Before we dive into the specifics of how to choose the best disinfectant for hygienically cleaning surfaces, let's first understand the different types of disinfectants. There are four main types that are commonly used in the cleaning and hygiene industry:

1. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)

These are effective against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They are commonly used in hospitals, food processing plants, and other high-traffic areas.

2. Chlorine Compounds

These are highly effective against bacteria and viruses. They are commonly used in swimming pools, water treatment plants, and hospitals.

3. Alcohol-Based Disinfectants

These are effective against bacteria and viruses but not against spores and fungi. They are commonly used in hand sanitisers and specialty surface disinfectant applications.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Disinfectants

These are effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They are commonly used in hospitals, dental clinics, and other medical facilities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Disinfectant

Now that we know the different types of disinfectants, let's look at the factors you need to consider when choosing the best disinfectant for cleaning your surfaces:


The disinfectant you choose should be effective against the specific microorganisms you're trying to eliminate. Check the label to see if it's effective against the particular viruses, bacteria, and fungi you're targeting.

In Australia, it is illegal for suppliers to make claims about the efficacy of a disinfectant product unless they can back it up with the required test certificates and regulatory approvals. This protects the buyer and user from being falsely marketed to and even more important, thinking they are killing germs that they aren't!


Hospital-grade and commercial grade surface disinfectants generally require the use of some PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Make sure you choose a disinfectant that's safe to use and won't cause harm to you, your family, or your pets. And make sure you follow the label and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for safety information and instructions.

Ease of Use

The disinfectant you choose should be easy to use and apply. You don't want a disinfectant that requires extensive training or complicated procedures. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, our #1 selling product was our Disso® Hospital Grade Starter Kit. Customers were giving us such great feedback about the ease of getting started with the product, but even more so, the free wallchart that shows you how to disinfect surfaces properly.


Disinfectants come in a wide range of prices. Consider things like dilution and concentration when making a decision. But don't forget that disinfection is serious because it is about health, hygiene and safety. It is not something you should be skimping on. Make sure you buy a premium product from a reputable brand. Be careful of cheap disinfectants that make false claims and are just nice smelling coloured water, not something that can actually kill the germs and keep you and other safe.

Which Disinfectant Is The Right Choice?

Now you know the basics, let's look at the three main surface disinfectants at XO2. We have more, but let's keep it simple. These are the most popular surface disinfectants and here is an easy rundown on which one (or ones) are best for your applications...

1. Disso (Also available in wipes) - Hospital Grade

Disso® and Disso® Wipes are hospital-grade disinfectants that are TGA listed. They are specially formulated to kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses making them your number-one choice for critical area cleaning, disinfecting and infection control applications. We highly recommend that every home and every business has some of this stuff, even if it is used when you have had someone sick through your place and/or for your critical areas like regular touch points. We also have this available in the top-selling Hospital-grade Disinfectant Starter Kit.

Quick Benefits of Disso

Fragrance-free. Hospital-grade. TGA listed. Kills 99.999% of germs. Fast kill rate. Best choice for touchpoint and high risk cleaning. No colour dyes added. Available in a ready-to-use liquid or wipes. Wall mounted dispensers also available. Australian-made.

Learn more about Disso here

Learn more about Disso Wipes here

2. 5 in 1 - Commercial Grade

5 in 1 is a commercial grade disinfectant that's tested and proven to kill a wide range of bacteria. It's a great all-purpose style product that you can use all over the place to wipe surfaces and mop floors. It is a powerful concentrate so it is highly economical for regular cleaning use. And what most 5 in 1 fanatics LOVE the most is the fragrances! 5 in 1 is available in a large range of fragrance and size options.

Quick benefits of 5 in 1

Choice of fragrances. Commercial grade. Highly concentrated. Multi-purpose. For mopping floors and wiping surfaces. Australian-made.

Learn more about 5 in 1 here 

3. Cleansan - Food Area Approved

Cleansan is a commercial grade disinfectant designed for food manufacturing, food preparation and food serving applications. It is concentrated for greater economy and it ticks all the food safety boxes.

Quick benefits of Cleansan

Food area approved. Fragrance-free. Commercial-grade. Highly concentrated. For mopping floors and wiping surfaces. Australian-made.

Learn more about Cleansan here

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I mix different types of disinfectants?

A: No, you should never mix different types of disinfectants as this can cause harmful chemical reactions and affect the efficacy of the product.

Q: Do disinfectants expire?

A: Yes, disinfectants have an expiry date. Check the label for the expiry date and replace it before it expires. XO2 disinfectants have a 2-year shelf.

Q: Can I use disinfectants on all surfaces?

A: No, some disinfectants can damage certain surfaces. Check the label to see if the disinfectant is safe for use on the surface you're targeting.

Choosing the best disinfectant for cleaning is crucial for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment. By considering the efficacy, safety, ease of use, and price, you can choose a disinfectant that's right for your needs.

We hope this info helps you to clean better. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or need a hand with anything else :)

David Blamire, CEO at XO2

David is one of Australia's leading cleaning industry innovators. He's spent his entire working life solving cleaning challenges others thought were impossible. He's best known for his product creation and development skills along with a deep knowledge of business operations and all things ERP. In his spare time, David's a keen fisherman and adventurer. And he doesn't mind if you call him Davo.

Get in touch with David at He works from XO2's national headquarters and manufacturing centre in Queensland, Australia.

Share this post