How Productive Are Disinfectant Wipes in Healthcare

How Productive Are Disinfectant Wipes in Healthcare

Ready to use disinfectant wipes lower the risk of cross contamination as they are considered to be single surface use disinfectants. In healthcare centers, the impregnated wipes play a vital role in effectively cleaning the high touch surfaces and medical instruments. All surfaces in healthcare facilities carry contaminated viruses and microbes which must be cleaned properly. All professionals and staff members have to face this challenge of keeping their area clean and ensure no cross contamination until the cleaning staff performs its job to disinfect the entire building.

Rise of Use

The hype of ready to use (RTU) disinfectant wipes has escalated due to the ease of use and their handy nature. Decontaminating operation rooms, patient rooms and outpatient facilities are done using RTU wipes which minimize the expansion of healthcare infections. Old fashioned towel and bucket method is eliminated in most environments as this mechanism is less effective and non-hygienic. Therefore, a switch to medical wipes has created a sense of satisfaction between employee and patient relationship in healthcare units.

Disinfectant Types and Intended Use

Although there are multiple kinds of disinfectants used in hospitals such as hypochlorite, phenolic, peracetic acid and multiple sprays. But based on our concern of this read, we have stated multiple kinds of disinfectant wipes and their respective indicated use for your knowledge:

  • Antibacterial
  • These are disposable ones and are intended for one-time use. Mostly used on hard surfaces to kill or weaken germs. Must be discarded after use.

  • Sanitizing
  • These are used after you contact hands with high end surfaces. They reduce the possibility of spreading infection by removing excess microorganisms on the surface.

  • Sporicidal
  • These are mainly used for cleaning medical instruments and devices. Surgical equipment and surface sterilization are some of its uses.

  • Antimicrobial
  • These are efficient to use for high level sterilization and disinfection of medical equipment. They effectively kill and slow the growth of many viruses and bacteria.

    Medical Disinfectant Wipes

    Medical wipes used in hospitals cannot be used as a replacement for cleaning but instead are handy for quick disinfection of work stations, medical equipment (after use) and to clean minor messes from hard surfaces. Moreover, medical disinfectant wipes are ideal material to use on high touch areas in clinics, dental offices, patient rooms, operation theatres and waiting areas etc.

    Medical wipes need a specific contact time to dry and completely remove the germs and viruses from the intended area. CDC recommends that an appropriate amount of time must be given to wipes to work effectively. Labels of these products state required contact time and you must follow accordingly.


    The ratio size of wipe and concentration of disinfectant on it to the magnitude of area being cleaned varies at a broad level. But following suitable instructions and guidelines there can be many advantages medical wipes offer:

    • Disinfection of Single Surface: They offer quick disinfection with one use and elude the risk of cross contamination occurs due to over use of single rag. The rapid kill time makes it effective to use for quick needs.
    • Rapid Operating Room Cleanups: Being a sterile environment, the operating room requires rapid disinfection after every use and disinfectant wipes provide a convenient and faster cleanup when used appropriately.
    • Wiping the Medical Equipment: To eliminate the probability of contamination, every high touch medical equipment must be sterilized and wiped down completely with these disinfectant wipes.
    • Disinfect Surrounding Area of Respiratory Patients: As patients with respiratory issues require a dust free environment, medical wipes are the best option to decontaminate the surface around these patients. These wipes are mist and dust free and thus are beneficial.
    • Sanitize Common Areas: all common and high touch areas in hospitals and healthcare units such as sign in area, waiting room, patient room, nurse and computer stations must be cleaned throughout the day to maintain a pathogen free environment both for professionals and cleaning staff.

    Adhere to proper dwell time of wipes

    Different products have different dwell time which is the time taken by the product to evaporate from the surface leaving a germ free area. You can learn from guidelines on product labels or can ask the manager. If dwell time is less than mentioned on the label, then you must clean twice with wipes to achieve desired results.

    Choosing between Cleaning and Disinfection Wipes

    Talking specifically about hospitals, one must not adhere to using only wipes to clean the building. Treatment varies from area to area and one must acknowledge the difference between sanitizing, cleaning and disinfecting. Sporicidal disinfectants are the best option for critical areas where transmission rate is high. These high risk areas include isolation rooms, operating rooms, surgical units and similar environments where instruments come in contact with blood or bodily fluid.

    Wrap Up  

    Disinfectant wipes help in maintaining a germ-free environment in order to keep things under control throughout the day. According to a study by West in 2019, it has been suggested that contact time must be less than the dry time to achieve full efficacy of disinfectant wipes. Therefore, selecting a non-toxic, scratch-free and surface compatible wipe is important. Maintaining a cleaning and disinfection compliance, the wipes are proven to quickly disinfect patient rooms by 23% faster than traditional methods thereby also reducing the per employee capital cost which healthcare institutes bear. These facts and figures do not imply that disinfectant wipe is the only economical and efficient solution. You must figure out specs, intended area and budget at hand to opt the suitable cleaning option for your facility.