The disinfection capabilities of phenolic compounds have been recognized for an extremely long time. Since the 17th century, phenols have been used as dressings on wounds. Today, phenols exhibit a broad range of disinfection capabilities. They show broad microbial efficacy, however this efficacy largely depends on a multitude of environmental factors such as pH, temperature, dilution and soil load. Phenols are extremely active disinfectants which can contaminate the environment with harmful by-products and consistently exhibit a harsh safety profile.