When a bacterial cell is exposed to a solution of alcohol, the bacteria’s cell membrane loses its structural integrity and falls apart. The alcohol molecules enter the cell and begin to dissolve the proteins through a process known as denaturation. Because the bacteria cannot survive without those protein functions, the cell dies quickly, essentially being melted apart from the inside and out.
When most enveloped viruses are exposed to a solution of at least 60% alcohol, the envelope protein that surrounds the virus is attacked and destroyed. Essentially the alcohol denatures the coat of the virus, rendering it inactive.
Alcohol kills a broader variety of bacteria and viruses when the concentration exceeds 60%. Hand Sanitisers with more than 60% Alcohol are disinfectants.
The speed of sanitisation also increases as the alcohol concentration increases. The lydamin® range of antiseptic hand sanitiser gels have a 70% alcohol formulation, ensuring they works quickly and effectively killing 99.9% of germs.
Alcohol destroys disease causing agents. Alcohol has a pathogen killing ability, it destroys most bacteria and viruses.