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Choosing the right disinfectant: Veterinary vs household products

Household vs veterinary disinfectant

Maintaining a stringent disinfection and cleaning protocol is paramount for veterinary clinics, pet boarding facilities, animal shelters and other animal care settings. The choice of disinfectant you use plays a significant role in achieving this goal.

The market is flooded with disinfectant and cleaning products, and not all of them are created equal. Many businesses working with animals have traditionally used household disinfectants, however, some fall short in tackling resilient viruses like Parvovirus or Coronavirus. Other disinfectant products, though effective, can pose risks to your staff and the animals they care for.

This is why an ever-increasing number of businesses are turning to non-toxic veterinary disinfectants such as Safe4. In this blog, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of household and veterinary disinfectants and explain why opting for non-toxic veterinary disinfectants is essential for animal care environments.

The pros and cons of household disinfectants

Household disinfectants are widely available and familiar, but they aren’t typically the best choice for animal care settings.


  • Accessibility: Household disinfectants are easy to find at a wide range of shops, providing a convenient solution.
  • Affordability: They are often budget-friendly.
  • Relatively broad spectrum: Household disinfectants can effectively eliminate a wide range of pathogens.


  • Toxicity concerns: Many household disinfectants contain harsh chemicals that can pose health risks to both animals and humans. This includes potential respiratory issues, gastrointestinal upsets and skin irritations.
  • Residue: Some household disinfectants leave chemical residues that animals may ingest, potentially leading to health complications.
  • Effectiveness against animal-specific viruses and bacteria: Not all household disinfectants are designed to effectively combat diseases that affect animals.

The pros and cons of non-toxic veterinary disinfectants

Veterinary disinfectants such as the one produced by Safe4 were developed specifically for use in animal-care settings.


  • Safe for animals: Non-toxic veterinary disinfectants are formulated with the safety of animals and the people who care for them in mind.
  • Health considerations: Opting for non-toxic veterinary disinfectants is safer for staff, as it reduces the risk of respiratory problems, skin irritations, and other health issues that can result from exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Highly effective against viruses and bacteria: Veterinary disinfectants are specifically designed to target a wide range of animal-specific pathogens, ensuring thorough disinfection.
  • No rinsing required: Thanks to the absence of toxic ingredients and neutral PH levels, there is no need to rinse off veterinary disinfectant after application.
  • APVMA approved: Veterinary disinfectants need to pass additional testing and scrutiny before being approved for sale, unlike household disinfectants. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority carefully assesses their effectiveness against viruses and bacteria, the ingredient list, and safety data, to ensure the product does what it says it will do, and that it is safe for use in a vet clinic setting.
  • Eco-Friendly: Many non-toxic veterinary disinfectants (including Safe4) are environmentally friendly. For example, Safe4 is a water-based product that is 100% biodegradable and uses recycled containers.  


  • Varied affordability: Veterinary disinfectants can sometimes be more expensive than household disinfectants due to their higher levels of effectiveness and non-toxicity. However, veterinary disinfectants are also available in bulk quantities, which makes them highly cost-effective.
  • Accessibility: Due to their specialised nature, veterinary disinfectants aren’t readily available on supermarket shelves and need to be ordered either directly from the company (such as Safe4) or through your veterinary supplier distributor.

Choosing the right disinfectant

Choosing a veterinary disinfectant such as Safe4 over household disinfectants ensures effective infection control while also guaranteeing the safety of both people and the animals in your care. Safe4’s commitment to safety and efficacy in animal care settings sets it apart as the smart choice for those who prioritise the well-being of their furry patients and dedicated staff.

You can learn more about what’s in our disinfectant, and how it’s performed in a range of efficacy tests against key viruses and bacteria by visiting the Safe4 website.

Or if you have any questions about our product range, call us on 1300 661 821.