A germicide is any type of product that is designed to kill germs and bacteria on different types of surfaces. Many household cleaning products are formulated to function as germicides. In addition, there are some personal care products that are designed to help kill germs as part of the process of cleaning the skin. Just about any home or business will have at least a few of these products on hand at any given time.
Over the years, a number of uses of germicide products have come into common use. Some involve the utilization of basic germicidal and antibacterial products as a way of minimizing the chances of spreading colds or other forms of illness. For example, it is not uncommon for bleach to be used as part of the process of washing clothing, as well as being used to disinfect countertops and other surfaces where food is prepared. Chlorine bleach is sometimes used in daycare centers and kindergartens as a way of disinfecting toys that are handled by several children, thus helping to minimize the spread of germs from one child to another.
Other cleaning agents are also effective sterilizers and disinfectants. Household ammonia is often used to clean tile and porcelain in bathrooms, helping to keep the areas relatively germ-free and smelling fresh. Ammonia is also helpful in removing germs from glass, such as windowpanes.
Along with cleaning products, there are other forms of germicide used for medical treatments. The use of radiation to kill germs and abnormal cells is one example. Medications that are designed to kill infections and limit the spread of bacteria can also be classified under the broad category of germicides. Even the use of heat to sterilize various types of medical instruments qualifies as an example of antibacterial or anti-germicidal cleansing.
In all its forms, the purpose of germicide is to rid the area of bacteria and germs that have the potential to cause harm to humans and other living things. While very helpful in maintaining a healthy environment, it is important to note that mixing various types of germicidal cleaners can create toxic fumes and other issues that will in fact be detrimental to general health and well being. For this reason, it is important to use germicidal products with care, and only after reading the usage instructions and safety precautions provided by the manufacturer. In the event that two forms of germicide that do not mix well are inadvertently used at the same time, medical attention should be sought immediately.