What Is a Chemical That Kills Bacteria Called?

Any chemical substance that kills bacteria or inhibits their growth is known as antibacterial. The chemical chlorine is an effective antibacterial agent that is used in solutions in household cleaners such as bleach.

Peroxide, alcohol and aldehydes are also effective at killing bacteria. These substances evaporate or break down quickly and are known as non-residue-producing. In contrast, chemicals like triclosan, benzalkonium chloride and triclocarban, which are also antibacterial agents, produce lasting residues that continue to act against bacteria. These chemicals are commonly used in soaps and skincare products. Residue-producing agents in low concentrations have produced drug-resistant bacteria that antibacterial agents cannot control or kill.