What Cleaner Kills Ringworm? Surface Disinfectants for Most Common Dermatophytes


To be fair, there are several dozen species of dermatophytes capable of causing the relentlessly irritating rash we call: Ringworm. However, the good news is that we don’t have to look for a disinfectant that kills every last species. That’s because the most common types of ringworm infections can be narrowed down to these 2 dermatophyte usual suspects:

  • Trichophyton class (rubrum, tonsurans, interdigitale, mentagrophytes)
  • Microsporum canis

So when we want to know: what cleaner kills ringworm? Look for an EPA registered disinfectant that is proven to kill the Trichophyton family and Microsporum canis. These dermatophytes are the most common causes of ringworm and therefore, a perfect place to start.

Coming up, we’re going to show you cleaners that kill these 3 ringworm causing skin plants once and for all on hard surfaces. To jump right to the disinfectants, click the jump link below

Jump to Ringworm Disinfectants.

Wait…Did We Just call Ringworm “SKIN PLANTS?”

Yes; we did. And for good reason. You see many people think ringworm is either a worm or a bug and that one little misconception contributes heavily to why people, and animals, experience chronic reinfection. So we are going to spend just one minute explaining the nature of ringworm so you’ll understand EXACTLY how to kill it!

Bad names cause confusion

It’s an easy mistake to make! First of all, the word “ringworm” sounds like a worm. Then, once we do a little research and realize it’s caused by something called a “Dermatophyte”, that, frankly, kinda sounds like a bug or a mite!

So, if you’ve ever thought ringworm was either a worm or some type of mite, believe me…you are in very good company and your brain thinks logically. That said, let’s clear up the confusion….

Dermatophyte from the greek words dermato (skin) and phyte (plant).  Main cause of ringworm
Greek Origins – Dermato Phyte

Dermatophyte is a combination of two greek words:

  • Dermato – relating to the skin.
  • Phyte -denoting a plant or plant like organism.

Bring those two Greek words together and we get Dermatophyte which literally means “skin plant” or “skin, plant-like organism.


Ringworm: Plant vs. Fungus

So ringworm is a plant? Well, back in the day, fungus was considered a plant. It wasn’t until 1969 that fungus became its own entity and was no longer considered a plant, but still…the name Dermatophyte remains.

So, ringworm is a FUNGUS, which used to be classified as a plant and it’s in our best interest to treat it like a fungus and a plant. How so? Well, you can’t kill a plant by squishing it. You don’t kill a fungus by drowning it. All the ways you will think to kill a worm or a bug will not work on a fungus or a plant.

Instead, think of ringworm as a spore, a microscopic dust rider that is ready, willing and able to colonize and build a frontier, once it lands upon a warm, inviting surface. With that in mind, you can begin to understand that ringworm requires a completely different killing approach.

Now let’s get it into what kills it! If we found ways for you to buy these disinfectants online, we’ve included online, marketplace affiliate links. Simply click the link and you’ll be taken to product pricing and availability.

Ringworm Disinfectants

What Kills Ringworm on Surfaces

The Trichophyton family, particularly mentagrophytes or interdigitale has lots of usual suspects: mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses and more. It is easily transferred to humans via the aforementioned mammals.

Microsporum canis is found most commonly on our cats and dogs; however, this fungus is capable of infecting all mammals.

If you suspect ringworm caused by Trichophyton type dermatophyte, or Microsporum canis dermatophytes, these products kill the spores and can help disinfect your home once and for all.

Cavicide SPRAY- 3 Minute Contact Time -EPA Reg. No. 46781-6

Caviwipes (wipes) – 3 Minute Contact Time – EPA. Reg.No. 46781-13


Rescue Liquid RTU (Ready to Use) Kills Trichophyton interdigitale (30 seconds) Microsporum canis (1 minute) EPA. Reg.No. 74559-9

Rescue WIPES Kills Trichophyton interdigitale (30 seconds) Microsporum canis (1 minute) EPA. Reg.No. 74559-10


Vital Oxide Kills Trichophyton interdigitale & Microsporum canis (10 Minutes) – It needs longer time in order to kill these dermatophytes, but is touted for its ability to be used in air ducts. Follow directions on label. EPA. Reg.No 82972-1

In Summary

Remember, ringworm is an opportunistic spore drifting through the air and settling on leaves, grasses and the ground. It is picked up by animals and humans and can stick to fur, hair, paws, shoes and clothing.

Once ringworm fungal spores enter your home, they are easily passed back and forth between humans and/or pets. You cannot see them, but they are there.

When ringworm does not resolve or happens over and over again, it’s time to treat the environment and not just the rash.

These products kill the main dermatophytes that cause ringworm. Here are the links one last time.

Cavicide SPRAY- -EPA Reg. No. 46781-6

Caviwipes (wipes) – EPA. Reg.No. 46781-13

Rescue Liquid RTU EPA. Reg.No. 74559-9

Rescue WIPES Kills Trichophyton interdigitale (30 seconds) Microsporum canis (1 minute) EPA. Reg.No. 74559-10

Vital Oxide EPA. Reg.No 82972-1

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