Why are solvents used in disinfectants?

Most disinfectant formulas include some type of solvent such as isopropanol or ethanol (types of alcohols) or glycol ethers. Solvents boost chemical action needed to kill germs. Solvents may not be listed as active agents on the disinfectant label but are usually listed on the product safety data sheet. Some disinfectant brands have increased the percentage of solvents to reduce contact time. As solvent content increases, surface and equipment damage is more likely to occur over time.