Do’s and Don’ts to Using Disinfectant Wipes

Disposable disinfectant wipes are a convenient way to keep your house clean and family healthy, but how effective are they? According to Dr. Neha Pathak, a board-certified internal medicine doctor and WebMD medical editor, even though they are 1000% effective and easy to use, the problem with them is that they don’t work unless they are used correctly.


She agrees that wipes are the right choice, but those using the wipes need to be in-serviced to use one wipe on one surface. You mustn’t try to wipe several pieces of equipment with a single wipe because it is less effective when you use it. Using one wipe to “save money” is inviting the spread of organisms rather than removing/killing them.


In addition to not using the same wipe more than once, you can follow the steps below to ensure the complete effectiveness of your disinfectant wipes:


Dry Time


How wet are the wipes? Does the surface stay wet for 60-90 seconds? What are your target organisms determined by a risk assessment? Make sure the wipe you choose has a kill-claim for those organisms important to your patient population.


Determinate the Surface


What are the surfaces/materials you will be cleaning and disinfecting? Will the disinfectant damage or destroy them? Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period, so its ingredients must be compatible with the surface’s materials.


Avoid Strong Scents


What do the wipes smell like? It can be a perfect wipe, but if the smell is offensive to workers, patients, and visitors, you’ll regret your purchase.


Check the Packaging Design


What is the design of the flip-top on the canister? A well-designed canister will have a well under the flip-top to conceal the next wipe’s top when the lid is closed. Otherwise, the next wipe tends to dry out before it is used.


Regular cleaning with good old-fashioned soap and water is an excellent way to lower the number of germs and reduce the risk of spreading infection. But sometimes disinfectants are the best bet. Domestically, disinfectants should be used in specific circumstances, like cleaning up your countertops after a day of work or attending a sick loved one during flu season.


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