How to Kill Bacteria

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How to Kill Bacteria

Bacteria and other microorganisms are present everywhere. You have to be extra careful with the things you use to prevent yourself from getting diseases they carry. Here are some suggestions on how you can eliminate bacteria.

In Your Home

  • Sterilization.You can sterilize your things in different ways. The most common method is through the use of heat. The basic idea of this procedure is to expose bacteria on high heat that they are unable to survive. If you want to sterilize baby bottles for example, place them in a pot full of hot water and let stand for a few minutes.
  • Freezing. Some bacteria can’t stand cold temperature. This method is usually used for raw foods.
  • Disinfectant solutions. These substances are used to eliminate bacteria on different surfaces. Wipe your things using a cloth or cotton with alcohol. Some other examples of disinfectants are copper sulfate, silver nitrate and lugol’s solution. There are also acids and alkalis that are effective in killing bacteria like sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, sodium, potassium and calcium hydroxide.
  • Cleaning agents. Some of these compounds are formulated to kill bacteria.

On Your Body

  • Handwashing. This is the simplest way of removing bacteria on your hands. It also prevents you from transmitting these microorganisms on other things and persons. Wash your hands with soap and water. Using a microbial soap would be a lot better. Scrub your hands, palms and wrists. Rub your fingertips on the palm of your other hand. Don’t forget to clean the spaces between your fingers. Clean the area underneath your fingernails. Do this for at least 15 seconds and then rinse.
  • Take a bath everyday. Take note of areas that are exposed to moisture like armpits and groin. Bacteria thrive in a damp environment.
  • Antiseptic solutions are used to remove bacteria on the skin. If you have an open wound, clean it using povidone- iodine. Other antiseptics are chlorine preparations, peroxide, alcohol and salicylic compounds.
  • Antibiotic. If you have a health problem caused by bacteria, you may use an antibiotic, or a bacteriostatic medication. Bacteriostatics don’t kill bacteria but inhibit further bacterial growth. These medications may alter the environment, or change the bacteria’s cellular make up. Any of these will kill bacteria.
  • Antitoxin. These are antibodies that can neutralize specific toxins, but they can be effective in killing other microorganisms.


  • You don’t have to spend money on disinfectants. You may make one for your home.
  • Here are some ways to make homemade disinfectants:
    • In a bottle half filled with water, add household bleach until the bottle is full. Shake well. You can use this to clean toilet seats, counter tops and bathroom tiles.
    • Add a teaspoon of chlorine in a quart of water. This is good to use on floor surfaces. Wash the floor with the solution and let it stand for a few minutes. Rinse and air dry. You can also use a mop or cloth to wipe the floor dry.
    • Make a 1 to 5 dilution of vinegar. Use this the same way as chlorine solution.


  • Antiseptics and disinfectants have different uses, although most substances can be classified in any of these categories. It’s still good to know that disinfectants are for nonliving things and antiseptics are for living things.
  • Antibiotics are also known as chemotherapeutic agents. These can be administered in several ways:
    • Orally- the medicine is in tablet, capsule or syrup form.
    • Topically – examples of these are skin ointments, eye drops and ear drops
    • Intravenously- If it’s a serious systemic infection, the doctor may order the medicine to be injected through your vein.

There are many ways to kill bacteria. You just have to remember that whatever method you choose, the most important thing is to do it properly. If you’re currently experiencing health problems that may be related to infections, it’s best to consult your doctor. Keeping your home and body clean is the most effective way to eliminate these harmful microorganisms.



  1. Angel said,

    on September 24th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Can vinegar kill Micobacterium avium Introcellulare or (MAC)Is there any science evidence of this. Can it be used to clean shower heads to kill MAC?
    Thank you, Angel