Disinfectant Wipes. What and Where to Use Them?

Five things you should always use disinfectant wipes on

First, it is important to discuss the differences in disinfectant wipes. If one is talking about the Clorox and Lysol wipes in the grocery store; these are the gentlest form of disinfectant wipes on the market. These wipes will help reduce the possibility of infection, transferred of germs from person to person or surface to person. Their list of ingredients however is rather frightening.

In the health care profession every hospital, physician office, home health care agencies, nursing homes, all the way to private residences that take in elderly and charge Medicare to take care of them, there must be on the premises, in prominent view, a book called MSDS (Minimum Safety Data Sheets.)

The MSDS book must contain the item itself plus the ingredients of that item that is used to clean anything, from a desktop, to a blood spill. Along with the MSDS book of course, are the antidotes, what to do in case of a spillage, how to contain and prevent harmful fumes or sprays; in general, what to do if someone thinks, well if one wipe is good then four will be grand! Unfortunately, the average household disinfectant wipe user rarely looks at the list of ingredients, much less look up their meaning.


Ingredients of household disinfectant wipes

For the average user, the ingredients are gobbledeegoop, mishmash and senseless. Here are the ingredients of Clorox Disinfectant Wipes from an eHow article are as follows:

“The ingredients listed in Clorox wipes fresh scent version, beginning with the highest amount, are water, substrate, isopropyl alcohol, and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. Other ingredients include alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, alkyl polyglucoside, disodium EDTA, fragrance, preservative, and propylene glycol propyl ether.”

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_5468191_chemicals-clorox-wipes.html#ixzz1SPy04Ecos:

Remember now, this is just for the ones you use at home and the list goes from most to least. This means the first and most ingredients in the disinfectant wipe by Clorox is….

Right; water. Most people use that as part of their cleaning regimen already! The rest are rather nasty toxins that will kill germs if but only if the surface it is used on is non-porous and the wet ingredient is left on the surface for a specific amount of time. The time necessary to terminate the germs is listed in fine print on the labels of the disinfectant wipes as well as the bacterium the wipes are able to destroy.

The disinfectant wipes as a whole are actually listed as stages from low to intermediate agents. If the ingredients listed include the suffix “cide” or “cidal” this is a way to determine the wipes effectiveness on killing bacterium such as staphylococcus, pseudomonas, tuberculosis, salmonella and gram positive and negative bacterium. The more alcohol and ammonium chloride in the disinfectant wipes the more bacterium will be destroyed and in less time.


Get to the point! What and Where Can They Be Used?

However, laypersons (people not employed in the health care industry) really have no interest in the amount of alcohol or ammonium chloride that is in the disinfectant wipes they buy from the grocery store. All the general public wants or needs to know is on what can it be used?

The general low-grade disinfectant wipe from the grocery store can be used on all non-porous surfaces. If you make bread by hand on your counter top and it is a solid surface you will be all right but do not knead your bread right after using the second wipe on the counter-top of course.

The disinfectant wipe can be used on plastic surfaces as well without harm but again, if you are using wipes to clean the baby walker or baby toys give it a long time to dry before you put the baby back in it! The most used plastic items wipes are used on are in the office or place in the home with the computer and phones.

The disinfectant can be used on metal objects such as fireplace screens, lamp bases, washing machines, doorknobs, faucets and on and on.

The wipes are easily portable and can be placed in a zip lock bag and used in many places outside of the home such as on the fabric surface of a movie theatre chair, seat on the bus, outdoor picnic tables and of course the shopping carts in grocery stores. It is a wonderful item to see just at the door of a grocery store, unless it is empty or has been left open and the wipes are all dried and cannot be used.

Of all places to use a wipe, the best place of all is in the bathroom. Everything in the bathroom needs to be thoroughly and regularly cleaned with other product, and then the disinfectant wipes can easily be used in between the cleanings.


In Summary and The Most Important Part; How Many Does It Take To Do the Trick?

How many people does it take to change a lght bulb? No, that is not the question!

How many wipes should be used?

One you say? You always just use one The television commercials show the pretty lady with a smile barely straining to clean any surfaces and she gaily moves from one area of the house to the other, all with just the one wipe! Why can't we all do that?

Well, probably cause of mean ole Nurse Kratchet! Dadgumit! Where does she come from and why does she not stay where that is? I mean, I ask you, really...Really? (this is my friend Sandy's favorite saying and I love to use it now/horrible copycat that I am but when I use it it makes me smile cause I can see my redheaded friend getting all intense!)

Sorry, off subject again! Focus Bethard! Focus! :)

Most iportantly, studies have shown that it takes two disinfectant wipes to effectively destroy the bacterium. Also, do not forget the resting time, or the time the wet ingredient has to sit on the surface for it to actually be effective! You must not use one wipe and go all ver thiking you are fie. All you end up doing is spreading the bacteria all over the place!

Do you have teengers? Staphylcoccus bacteria lives on any surface for up to three weeks! Along with that, did you know that a simple pimple is a staph infection? So, do you really want to take a chance with just the one wipe and risk your teenagers face on Prom night? Or any night as that increases the risk of continual outbreaks as we all know how often teenagers really wash their hands!


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Comments 21 comments

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

I never gave much thought to the differences between disinfectant wipes. Your article was interesting.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

oh thank you Deborah-Diane!! being a mean ole/old lol nurse I have to put ALL the info out there you know?

thank you again

barbara b


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

If you'll wash your hands frequently, keep your fingers away from your mouth and nose, and use these wipes, you can avoid most colds and influenzas.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

omg Will what a novel concept!! lave los manos!! :)

ab-so-lu-toot-ley sir!! the best way to prevent the spread of any inection is just wash yur hands!!!

however, as my 28yr old adult in training has to say about kids...."keep them away from me, they have germs and should be leashed and muzzled at all times!"

she is a terror my baby girl/even at preschool shed get so upset in the bathroom at the mall/she told everyone that tried to leave without washing their hands what to do and how long to do it!

I just smiled :)

matter of act, now shes an almost chef (grads in Sept) shes still doing it! dude she runs that olive garden kitchen like a 5 star restauant...she is sooooo OCD Will...her inspections from the health department are so fantastic and she wont let those kids get away with anything!!!

wherever she really ends up/dude, she will be so good...she made us guacamole tonight :) its all gone


felicitylovespari profile image

felicitylovespari 5 years ago

Interesting although I don't usually give much thought to disinfectant wipes i use. Now I should be. Thanks.

Nice hub!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

hello Felicitylovesparis :)

I messed up my profile too/you can edit it but don't ask me how I just messed with it

just member you cant break it

too much :)

naw just kidding

hello and welcome!!


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi- Remember the story about the dirty sponges? It was an experiment or something. What is the best way to clean kitchen countertops? I think we probably don't clean well. Nice article. You must have been a good nurse. And you're funny.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

I'm not one anymore?

ha

old nurses don't retire they just sit in back of the desk and tell young nurses what to do!


Susan Gichuhi profile image

Susan Gichuhi 5 years ago from NAIROBI

great insight, i hardly thought about it this way


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you Susan! its the mean ole nurse Kratchet in me you know :)


swathi180 profile image

swathi180 5 years ago

As a dentist i am more conscious about washing my hands frequently.This article helps me more RNMSN.

Really you have good articles and about to mark 200.Great work :-)


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

thank you swathi!! actually I have been weeding out my articles trying to stay ahead of the panda...ouch! and I, like many others, use other writing platforms but HP is a favorite for sure!!

do you let your patients have nitrous? dentists scare me...are you very very gentle?? :) I know you are!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

Thanks for information on disinfectant wipes. The "sit" time for the wipes is also true for household disinfectant sprays and liquids. They just put it all into such tiny print, it is often overlooked.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

asolutely! I didn't mean to leave that out...thank you for your clarification


cashmere profile image

cashmere 5 years ago from India

Germs all around us, how do you disinfect the clothes, the ball and the boy who walks in each day after games??? Never ending task


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well cashmere, USMC bootcamp at Parris Island corrected our son haha

not funny I know...hey, boys, what can you do? throw lots of bubbles in the water for as long as they let you in the near vicinity of the bathtub!

thank you for your comment cashmere! man I miss my son...hes all grown with a family of his own..well at least he is chasing the germs now with his dtr and son eh? :)


Jerry 4 years ago

What about gram negative and gram positive bacteria? And what would be best to clean one's hands? All the had washes and hand sanitizers contain a frightening number of carcinogens.

I personally just scrub surfaces with alcohol and us alcohol. Then olive oil on my hands and a very mild lye soap and rinse.

For counters, besides alcohol, I also use Mr. Clean Multisurfaces, because it says it goes after gram negative bacteria, etc.


Jerry 4 years ago

sorry about my bad spelling. In a hurry.

What about gram negative and gram positive bacteria?

And what would be best to clean one's hands? All the hand washes and hand sanitizers contain a frightening number of carcinogens.

I personally just scrub surfaces with alcohol and use alcohol and then olive oil on my hands and a very mild lye soap and rinse.

For counters, besides alcohol, I also use Mr. Clean Multisurfaces, because it says it goes after gram negative bacteria, etc.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Hello Jerry!

I see that you are doing exceptionally well as far as infection control!

In fact, you are doing better than most of us!

Do you happen to use octagon or fels naptha soap for your handwashing? :) That is the one I know of a 'mild lye based'

Keep at it!

Barbara B


barrnone profile image

barrnone 4 years ago from Ohio

Hello Barbara. Thanks for the article, it was very informative (and funny!). I never knew you were supposed to leave it be after you wiped off the surface to make it more effective. I don't understand why companies put that important information in the fine print.

Anyway... I had a quick question for you. What difference does it make whether the wipes have alcohol in them or not? This site has 2 categories... http://www.sanitizingwipes.com/Disinfecting-Wipes-...

One category for wipes with alcohol and one without. Which works better and why do they make 2 kinds?

Thank you :)


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

:) glad you asked barnone! I live for research :)

so, alcohol is flammable...so a safety issue but mostly because alcohol is an antiseptic first and a disinfectant second..its mild in other words

The most common ingredient in disinfectants is 'phenol' for the home use...its harsher of course

so there you fo...want to really kill the bacteria? go for harsh. Two days left till payday and have to clean the bathroom before friends get there? grab the alcohol :)

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