Ethanol is used in medical wipes and most commonly in antibacterial hand sanitizer gels as an antiseptic for its bactericidal and anti-fungal effects. Ethanol kills microorganisms by dissolving their membrane lipid bilayer and denaturing their proteins, and is effective against most bacteria and fungi and viruses. However, it is ineffective against bacterial spores, but that can be alleviated by using hydrogen peroxide.A solution of 70% ethanol is more effective than pure ethanol because ethanol relies on water molecules for optimal antimicrobial activity. Absolute ethanol may inactivate microbes without destroying them because the alcohol is unable to fully permeate the microbe’s membrane. Ethanol can also be used as a disinfectant and antiseptic because it causes cell dehydration by disrupting the osmotic balance across cell membrane, so water leaves the cell leading to cell death.

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