A novel non-ionic surfactant nanoemulsion designated 8N8 has been tested for its biocidal activity. One percent 8N8 produced effective bactericidal activity against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Vibrio cholerae in 15 minutes. In contrast, most enteric gram-negative bacteria were resistant to 8N8. One percent 8N8 was also virucidal within 15 minutes for all tested enveloped viruses, including Herpes simplex type 1, influenza A and vaccinia viruses. One percent 8N8 also demonstrated fungistatic activity on Candida albicans. The rapid and non-specific inactivation of vegetative bacteria and enveloped viruses, in addition to its fungistatic activity and low toxicity in experimental animals, makes 8N8 a potential candidate for use as a topical biocidal agent.