Chemicals as Disinfectants and Preservatives
Objects, such as furniture, which cannot be boiled, are disinfected by the use of any one of several chemicals, such as sulphur, carbolic acid, chloride of lime, corrosive sublimate, etc.
One of the simplest methods of disinfecting consists in burning sulphur in a room whose doors, windows, and keyholes have been closed, so that the burning fumes cannot escape, but remain in the room long enough to destroy disease germs. This is probably the most common means of fumigation.
For general purposes, carbolic acid is one of the very best disinfectants, but must be used with caution, as it is a deadly poison except when very dilute.
Chloride of lime when exposed to the air and moisture slowly gives off chlorine, and can be used as a disinfectant because the gas thus set free attacks germs and destroys them. For this reason chloride of lime is an excellent disinfectant of drainpipes. Certain bowel troubles, such as diarrhœa, are due to microbes, and if the waste matter of a person suffering from this or similar diseases is allowed passage through the drainage system, much damage may be done. But a small amount of chloride of lime in the closet bowl will insure disinfection.