So... I threw on my Sherlock Holmes hat and dove in!

Dwell time: The first thing customers were asking about was Contact time. Contact time (or dwell time) is the length of time a disinfectant must remain wet on a surface in order to disinfect it. Dwell times range from 2-10 minutes for total kill.  Basically, the quicker the kill time, the faster a room can be cleaned, or a restaurant table turned over, with confidence the area is disinfected. Keeping a surface wet for ten minutes would be difficult in a facility with higher traffic and constant customer contact.
When our new disinfectant wipes arrived, our product specialists wanted to know what customers are looking for in their wipes, and what made ours different.  So, I threw on my Sherlock Holmes hat and dove in.

Size:  The retail brand disinfectant wipes that you are familiar with are meant for home use and you will typically find them in smaller sizes like  6”X 6”. However, what you really need for a facility is something that can handle the traffic you face. A larger wipe will clean a greater surface area in a shorter amount of time, making your cleaning practices more efficient.

Ingredients:  For the most part, the cleaning agent in wipes is a quaternary or phenol disinfectant, alcohol or bleach, or some type of combination.

A powerful, quaternary formula kills a wide range of bacteria and viruses, and is also a cleaning agent. Products using a quaternary formula are low in toxicity and corrosivity making them user friendly. Quats have no disturbing odor, and are the choice disinfectant for most hospital and health institutions.

Phenol disinfectants also kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses, but do not have a cleaning agent, so surfaces should be cleaned before they are disinfected with a Phenol. They are also known to have an unpleasant odor and are toxic to cats and newborn humans.

Bleach does have the advantage of being an inexpensive alternative; however, it has many disadvantages on its side.  Bleach is highly corrosive, contains toxic fumes, has no cleaning ingredients, is damaging to surfaces, and dangerous if mixed with other chemicals.

Alcohol based disinfectants, like Bleach, do not have a cleaning agent, so a separate cleaning product would need to be purchased. Alcohol can also harm surfaces with prolong use.

Price:  The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is perfect when describing disinfectant wipes. All three above, dwell time, size, and ingredients should matter in your decision of which to purchase.

Other important factors are…

Is the product EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registered? If so, it will state so on the product label.  This registration guarantees you the confidence that the product does exactly what it claims to.

Lastly, fragrance plays a role too.  Most bleach or phenol wipes are known to have a really obnoxious scent! Quat disinfectants are typically odor free, so adding a pleasant scent to them is common, and adds a deodorizing perk to the mix.

As you can see, you can’t just look at a canister of wipes, and say…”I’ll take the cheapest one, they are all the same”, because there are so many factors involved in your choice. So what have we learned here today…all wipes are not created equal, and the more you know, the more empowered you are to make the correct purchase for your needs. 

Call one of our product specialists to assist you in finding the right wipe for your facility, because we feel its “elementary” to do so!