HOCl vs. NaOCl: Which is the Better Disinfectant?

Mar 28, 2023 | Dr Burd Wonder Spray News

In today’s world, disinfectants have become a crucial part of our lives. The coronavirus pandemic has led us to become more conscious of the importance of disinfection, especially around us, in our homes, and workplaces. Disinfection is critical in eliminating harmful pathogens that may cause illness, disease, or infection. However, with so many disinfectants available in the market, it can be challenging to choose which one works best.

Two of the most commonly used disinfectants are HOCl and NaOCl. Let’s talk about what they are and their benefits.

HOCl (Hypochlorous acid) is a natural disinfectant that our immune system produces in response to viruses and bacteria. It is a weak acid made up of hydrogen, oxygen, and chlorine. When produced at specific concentrations, it can neutralize harmful pathogens, making it an effective disinfectant. HOCl is widely used in healthcare settings as it is a low-cost, safe, and effective solution for killing germs on surfaces and in the air. It is also considered to be environmentally friendly as it decomposes quickly, leaving no chemical residues behind.

NaOCl (Sodium Hypochlorite) is another disinfectant used to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is a chemical compound made up of sodium, oxygen, and chlorine. It’s commonly used in household bleaches and disinfectants, and considered to be a powerful disinfectant that’s hard on germs. However, it also has some downsides, including its harshness on surfaces, fabrics, and its strong odor.

Now let us compare the benefits of HOCl vs. NaOCl.


One of the significant differences between the two disinfectants is their safety profile. HOCl is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, meaning it is safe for human use, even in high concentrations. It does not irritate the skin, eyes, or lungs, making it safe for people with respiratory problems or skin sensitivity. In contrast, NaOCl may cause skin and eye irritation, especially when not used correctly.


HOCl has been shown to be more effective than NaOCl in killing germs, especially viruses like the flu and coronaviruses. It is also effective in breaking down biofilms, which are a layer of microbes that form on surfaces, making it difficult to eliminate germs. NaOCl is effective when it comes to killing germs on surfaces, but it’s not as effective as HOCl when it comes to viral disinfection.

Environmental Impact

HOCl is considered an eco-friendly disinfectant because it decomposes into saltwater and oxygen after use, leaving no chemical residues. In contrast, NaOCl may leave chemical residues on surfaces and have harmful environmental effects when not correctly disposed of.


HOCl is a low-cost disinfectant, making it affordable for most people. It can be easily made at home using tap water and common salt, making it accessible to people who may not have access to commercial disinfectants due to cost or availability. NaOCl, on the other hand, can be expensive, especially when purchased in commercial formulations.


HOCl and NaOCl are both effective disinfectants used to kill germs, but their benefits differ. HOCl is generally considered to be safer, more effective, environmentally friendly, and low-cost than NaOCl. Its mildness also enables it to be used around sensitive surfaces or skin types and in sensitive areas like healthcare settings. However, NaOCl is still a powerful disinfectant, but its strong odor and potential to cause skin or eye irritation may limit its scope of application.

In conclusion, it’s essential to consider the benefits of a disinfectant before choosing one for use, especially in the COVID-19 era. HOCl has been proven to be effective against the virus, and its mildness and environmental friendliness make it a more preferable option than NaOCl. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any disinfectant to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

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