IHO disinfectant list Preamble


Dear users of disinfectants,

Welcome to the online platform "IHO disinfectant list". This completely revised version replaces all previous IHO virucidal and disinfectant lists published since 2008, with the aim of providing you with answers on the effectiveness of disinfectants and disinfection procedures in all areas. This applies to the professional application areas of healthcare, food production, animal husbandry and laundry disinfection as well as general hygiene.

The disinfectant list is available to you as a user free of charge.


A new IHO disinfectant list - why was this necessary?


Let's look back 25 years. Numerous, different methods, established by a multitude of national professional societies, were the reality. With the consequence that products, which were e.g. found to be effective in France, were not considered as effective in Germany or Austria. Likewise, products tested according to German efficacy criteria could prove to be ineffective according to Polish efficacy criteria. What is right or better, who is right? All and nobody.

The resulting problem can be illustrated by way of example: Let us imagine that a European cheese manufacturer with production facilities in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France would have to establish its own nationally defined hygiene procedures in each country. One might wonder - which cheese would you prefer for hygiene reasons alone - Mozzarella, Allgäuer Bergkäse, Gouda or Camembert? The answer - amazingly simple: they are all hygienic (and even more so culinary) good, if there is a standard procedure which leads to the same results in all places and the manufacturer masters his craft.

The European harmonisation of standards for testing disinfectants has done just that - set uniform standards with the active participation of national professional associations. The European standard methods in use today are based on the knowledge and experience of such renowned organisations as DGHM, ÖGHMP, RKI, VAH, AFNOR, DVG, DVV etc., but also on technical experts from industry as well as universities and other educational institutions. The test methods are subject to continuous improvement and updating to the current state of science.


European laws and regulations no longer ask for national peculiarities.

The European Union and its Member States adopt laws and regulations without taking into account country-specific characteristics and these must be implemented in the individual EU countries with a strict timetable.

European directives and regulations affect manufacturers and users of disinfectants to the same extent. Products for disinfection are biocidal products in many areas and are subject to Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012. The reprocessing of medical devices - a special field in the health sector - is carried out with disinfectants (instruments and surfaces), which are subject to the Medical Devices Regulation (EU) 2017/745. Both regulations have in common that they are a binding legal act which all EU countries must implement in full.

The proof of efficacy for biocidal products is basically based on the valid European harmonised standards. The proofs are part of the product authorisation documents (biocidal product dossier) which each manufacturer submits to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) or to a corresponding national authority. The examination of the approval documents takes place in the EU member states, which must create the same conditions for marketability in each country.

In Europe, hand disinfectants are subject to biocidal product legislation and are therefore marketable as biocidal products. In Germany, however, we have the special situation that hand disinfectants can also be approved as pharmaceuticals for historical reasons.

For disinfectants that fall under European medical device legislation (e.g. for instrument disinfection), proof of efficacy based on harmonised European standards must also be used. This ensures the marketability of compliant and safe medical devices throughout the European economic area. The conformity of the medical devices with the legal requirements is regularly checked by the Notified Bodies and confirmed with the award of the CE mark.

There are few areas in which European harmonization has not progressed so far. This is the case, for example, in the veterinary sector for the determination of efficacy against viruses in the germ carrier test (practical phase 2/stage 2 tests) or against parasites. The German Veterinary Society (DVG) is a pioneer in this field. In the absence of European testing methods, e.g. virucidal testing in germ carrier tests and parasites, reference is made to the use of DVG methods.


What does the new IHO disinfectant list offer you?

The new IHO disinfectant list offers a transparent overview of the efficacy of disinfectants - whether biocidal products, medical devices or pharmaceuticals - all in one place.

For example, you ask yourself: Is there a product for surface disinfection that is effective against noroviruses but at the same time also tuberculocidal and active against Clostridium difficile? Can the disinfectant be used both in hospitals and in the kitchen and what application concentrations and exposure times are required? The new IHO disinfectant list answers it for you. Instead of searching in several lists, the knowledge can now be found comprehensively, quickly and at any time in the IHO disinfectant list.

The new IHO disinfectant list offers a more comprehensive overview of the following extended areas of application:

  • Hand disinfection
  • Surface disinfection (with and without mechanics)
  • Instrument disinfection (mechanical and manual reprocessing)
  • laundry disinfection
  • Food hygiene, public and industrial sectors
  • Animal hygiene (surface and teat disinfection)

With the help of the new IHO disinfectant list you as a user have the possibility to check which European standards form the basis for the efficacy of the products. You will find an overview of which standards are to be used to prove efficacy in the European standard EN 14885.


Transparency and quality - the significance of standardised efficacy tests

The IHO disinfectant list is based on the values from the product approval dossiers. The manufacturers themselves are responsible for the correctness of the entries. A two-stage quality assurance procedure has been implemented.

Stage 1: Annual review by manufacturers to ensure that all products are up to date and marketable.

Stage 2: Review by IHO experts and consolidation by independent experts from the Hohenstein Institute.

Hohenstein offers normative tests to validate product claims for surface disinfection, instrument disinfection and textile disinfection according to:

  • DIN EN 13727 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 13624 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 14348 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 13697 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 16615 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 14561 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 14562 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 14563 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • DIN EN 16616 Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics
  • Testing the virucidal efficacy of disinfectants in chemo-thermal laundry disinfection (practical test)

More detailed information can be found on the Hohenstein website.


  1. Verordnung (EU) Nr. 528/2012,
  2. Verordnung (EU) 2017/745,
  3. EN 14885:2018
  4. Zur Äquivalenz der Desinfektionsmittel-Testung gemäß VAH-Methoden und der Testung gemäß den aktuellen europäischen Normen, Hyg Med 2016; 41 – 3
  5. Liste der vom Robert Koch-Institut geprüften und anerkannten Desinfektionsmittel und –verfahren, veröffentlicht im Bundesgesundheitsblatt 60/2017:1274–1297,



The copyright to the disinfectant list lies exclusively with the IHO. If the list is reproduced or distributed, or contents are transferred to other websites, the corresponding data may not be changed, falsified or otherwise manipulated. It is always to be linked to the IHO disinfectant list as source of the information.

The examples formulated in the preamble serve the illustration of facts, the countries selected in this context are purely coincidental.



DGHM – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie

ÖGHMP - Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Mikrobiologie und Präventivmedizin

RKI – Robert Koch Institut

VAH - Verbund für Angewandte Hygiene e.V.

AFNOR - Association française de normalisation

DVG - Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft

DVV - Deutsche Vereinigung zur Bekämpfung der Viruskrankheiten e.V.