Dettol is a concentrated antiseptic disinfectant. It provides protection against bacteria which can cause illness and infection and has many medical and household uses.
What is Dettol?
The active ingredient in Dettol liquid is an aromatic chemical compound known as chloroxylenol, which makes up 4.8 percent of Dettol's total solution. The remainder is a mixture of pine oil, isopropanol, castor oil soap, caramel and water.
Dettol liquid is primarily used as a first aid measure to treat cuts, grazes and bites. It is diluted with water and applied directly to the skin.
Liquid Dettol can also be used as a general disinfectant around the home. It is commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens where germs are the most prevalent.
Dettol is also commonly used in Australia to kill cane toads, which are a pest species. When toads are sprayed or wiped with the liquid, the Dettol is rapidly absorbed through the toad's skin, causing death.
Dettol should not be ingested or applied to the skin undiluted. In addition, excess use can lead to skin irritations or bacteria resistance.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.