Various disinfectants were compared in terms of the duration of bactericidal activity against methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), among S. aureus isolated in our hospital. Strains of S. aureus which showed minimum inhibitory concentrations of cloxacillin of less than 1.56 micrograms/ml and of 3.13 micrograms/ml or higher were designated MSSA and MRSA respectively. There was no difference in sensitivity to disinfectants between MSSA and MRSA. There was a great variation in the duration of bactericidal activity of chlorhexidine gluconate against these species with the majority requiring contact times of between 2 minutes and over 20 minutes. All strains except for one strain of MRSA were killed within 20 seconds after disinfection with benzalkonium chloride. All strains were killed within 20 seconds after disinfection with alkyldiaminoethylglycine hydrochloride or povidone-iodine.