What is the Difference Between Dettol and Phenol

The key difference between Dettol and phenol is that Dettol is an antiseptic and disinfectant we can apply on wounds, whereas phenol is a corrosive substance that is not suitable for applications on humans.

Dettol is a brand name for a type of antiseptic substance introduced by Reckitt (a British company). Phenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula HO-C6H5.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Dettol  
3. What is Phenol
4. Dettol vs Phenol in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Dettol vs Phenol

What is Dettol?

Dettol is a brand name for a type of antiseptic substance introduced by Reckitt (a British company). This substance was introduced in 1932. It is useful as a cleaning supply, and we can use it for antiseptic and disinfectant purposes. This antiseptic is sold in Germany under the brand name Sagrotan. However, some products of Dettol were named Dettox before 2002. The Dettol market is worldwide.

Dettol contains chloroxylenol as its active ingredient. This active ingredient results in its antiseptic properties. Chloroxylenol has the chemical formula C8H9ClO. It is an aromatic chemical compound. Usually, this substance makes up about 4.8% of the total admixture of Dettol. The rest of the Dettol mixture contains pine oil, isopropanol, castor oil, soap, and water. Therefore, we can observe that Dettol exists mainly in a liquid state in its common use, but there are solid soaps as well. However, in 1978, the household Dettol was mainly reported to consist of chloroxylenol, terpinol, and ethyl alcohol.

The original liquid of Dettol, which has antiseptic and disinfectant properties, appears in light yellow color and is in a concentrated form. Some of the ingredients in Dettol are water-soluble. But some ingredients are not soluble in water. Therefore, we can observe the formation of a milky emulsion when we add Dettol to water. It exhibits the ouzo effect.

There are some other products of Dettol in addition to the antiseptic liquid, which includes Dettol antibacterial surface cleanser and Dettol antibacterial Wipes, which contain benzalkonium chloride as their active ingredient.

What is Phenol?

Phenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula HO-C6H5. These are aromatic structures because they have a benzene ring. Phenol can be made as a white solid that is volatile. This white solid of phenol has a sweet odor which is tarry. Moreover, it is soluble in water due to its polarity. This compound is a mildly acidic compound due to the presence of a removable proton at the hydroxyl group of phenol. Moreover, we have to handle phenol solutions with care in order to prevent burns.

Phenol can be produced via the extraction from coal tar. The main method of production is from petroleum-derived feedstock. The process of the production of phenol is the “cumene process.”

Phenol tends to undergo electrophilic substitution reactions because the lone electron pairs of the oxygen atom are donated to the ring structure. Therefore, many groups, including halogens, acyl groups, sulfur-containing groups, etc., can be substituted to this ring structure. Phenol can be reduced to benzene via distillation with zinc dust.

What is the Difference Between Dettol and Phenol?

Dettol is a brand name for a type of antiseptic substance introduced by Reckitt (a British company). Phenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula HO-C6H5. The key difference between Dettol and phenol is that Dettol is an antiseptic and disinfectant that we can apply on wounds, whereas phenol is a corrosive substance that is not suitable for applications on humans.

The below infographic presents the differences between Dettol and phenol in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Dettol vs Phenol

Dettol and phenol are important due to their disinfectant properties. The key difference between Dettol and phenol is that Dettol is an antiseptic and disinfectant that we can apply on wounds, whereas phenol is a corrosive substance that is not suitable for applications on humans.