Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. But you can’t just by disinfecting wipes, swipe them on everything and expect your home to be coronavirus-free.
You’ll want to make sure the wipes you buy can actually kill viruses and germs. Infectious disease specialist Carla McWilliams, MD, explains what you should know about disinfecting wipes, including how to use them safely and effectively.
“They’re designed to kill viruses and bacteria on hard surfaces like doorknobs, counters and TV remotes,” says Dr. McWilliams. They don’t work on soft surfaces like clothing or upholstery.
The germ-killing ingredient on disinfecting wipes is a chemical pesticide, so you shouldn’t use them on your skin. As long as you're disinfecting wipes are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they’re safe to use as directed.
Many wipes do, but just because they say “disinfecting” don’t assume they will kill the coronavirus. Disinfecting wipes are for hard surfaces in your home.
“Antibacterial wipes kill bacteria, not viruses, ” says Dr. McWilliams. And the coronavirus is a virus, not bacteria, so antibacterial wipes may not kill it.
Disinfecting wipes contain chemicals, so they have safety steps to follow. Use them as directed to make sure those unwelcome germs are gone for good.
EPA-approved products have a long EPA registration number on them. In most cases, you need to wear gloves to protect your skin.
“Definitely rinse it off if the surface will come into contact with food,” Dr. McWilliams says. Eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.
If you’re exposed to cleaning fumes from mixing chemicals, get everyone out of the house. “If you want to kill the coronavirus, you’re better off using something with disinfecting ingredients,” Dr. McWilliams says.
But it’s hard to know whether you killed all the germs when you clean with soap and water alone.” “Bleach is effective if you dilute it correctly,” says Dr. McWilliams.
But even diluted, it can ruin surfaces and fabrics, so it’s not practical in many cases.” Some disinfecting wipes contain bleach as their active ingredient.
Never mix bleach with other cleaners or chemicals, including natural cleaning products. “Wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing to help prevent the spread,” Dr. McWilliams says.
Dosage form: solutionIngredients: BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE 6.8mgLabeler: TZ UMI INNOVATIONS LAND Code: 77878-001 Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
WITHOUT ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES LEMON SCENT benzalkonium chloride solutionProduct InformationProduct Superhuman OTC Daughter Code (Source)NDC:77878-001Route of AdministrationTOPICALDEA Schedule In 2008, the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) commissioned Echo Research to conduct a cleaning survey across the country.
By 2014, Clorox reported (via Environmental Working Group) that roughly half of American homes use their brand of disinfecting wipes. “Cleaning wipes have become part of the American fabric, so to speak,” Brian Hanson, vice president of communication at SDA, was quoted as saying in the release.
Before you break out your container of wipes, the EWG stresses the need to recognize whether you actually need to disinfect, or you just need to clean. When a surface comes in contact with raw meat, blood or bodily fluids, and when a family member suffers from a contagious illness, such as the flu, ” disinfecting is then advised.
Even with so many powerful disinfectants out there, the first line of defense against germs is always going to be soap and water. Although we're probably all guilty of giving our counters a half-ass wipe -down, you may actually “be spreading the bacteria and the germs versus disinfecting the surface,” emergency room physician Sampson Davis explained on The Dr. Oz Show.
Since “many users in a household rarely time themselves for four minutes while ensuring the surface is wet,” according to the expert, we all risk just spreading germs around. Additionally, overusing disinfectants like wipes can lead to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as “super bugs,” the Environmental Working Group revealed.
He explained, “We found that the most effective way to prevent the risk of MRSA spread in hospital wards is to ensure the wipe is used only once on one surface.” “From purses and car consoles to countertops and suitcases, there is a wipe where and when we need it,” Brian Hanson, Soap and Detergent Association's vice president of communication, revealed in a press release.
According to Lysol's website, small plastic toys without batteries can be both cleaned and sanitized with a trip through the dishwasher. The parent's attorney, Nicholas Di Mauro, told WIZ (via CBS Boston), “Children should not be exposed to any of these chemicals.
Di Mauro filed a complaint with the Department of Agricultural Resources, which resulted in a pesticide inspector issuing a “letter of warning” to Lynn field Public Schools. While encouraging kids to clean is a great idea, disinfecting wipes are not fit for the task.
These wipe -downs are meant to, according to the brand, “save you a lot of time when it comes to deep bathroom cleaning.” Although the label is known for its bleach-based products, there's no bleach in their disinfecting wipes, a brand representative confirmed to Apartment Therapy.
If you crack open a container of mystery disinfecting wipes, the smell will tell you all you need to know. Since the purpose of the product is to disinfect and kill germs, it's not worth the risk of using old wipes to do the job.
And, as such, Clorox advises users to “avoid contact with eyes” and “wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.” Likewise, the Environmental Working Group cautions consumers not to use the product on their skin.
Mary Gaillard, a cleaning expert at Clorox, told Apartment Therapy that the wipes shouldn't be used on absorbent surfaces like rugs or carpeting. Likewise, this rule also applies to any surfaces that are unsealed, unfinished, or even oiled or waxed.
Before you disinfect a surface, it pays to check the label to see what can be safely sanitized. And, when in doubt, the cleaning expert said you should test a small surface area before you set about tackling an entire space with disinfecting wipes.
Clorox disinfecting wipes advertise the ability to kill 99.9 percent of “germs that can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours” as well as bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold and the flu. When used correctly, disinfecting wipes can also kill E. coli, salmonella, and strep.
“When using ready-to-use wipes, we found compliance to be significantly higher, a more rapid cleaning and disinfection process, and potential cost savings,” the study revealed. The researchers concluded the abstract by urging facilities to consider supplying these easy-to-use wipes.
In response to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, the American Chemistry Council's Center for Dioxide Chemistries released a list of products approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens.” However, these wipes should not, under any circumstances, be thought of as a substitute for other hygienic practices like proper hand-washing.
“Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as handwashing,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler explained in a statement provided to CNN Health. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Clean & Disinfect coronavirus guide, COVID-19 may remain on surfaces for as long as hours to days.
The CDC further advises both frequent cleaning and disinfecting to prevent against the coronavirus. Surfaces that are visibly dirty should be first cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected.