Many people are unaware of the differences between products with antibacterial properties and those that are disinfectants. It’s an important distinction as the use of hand sanitizing wipes, gels and wipes has exploded in recent years. Both the EPA and the Center for Disease Control have recommended the use of these products to control the spread of viruses and reduce the rate of bacterial infections. However, it is important to know the distinctions.
Antibacterial wipes are generally used on the hands to kill bacteria and prevent their transmission. Liquid hand sanitizers will also kill these germs, but they won’t remove food debris, dirt, and grime. Gels still have their place, as these little jars can be placed anywhere and are a very cost-effective method of controlling disease transmission. Today’s prevalence of nut allergies requires schools to use antibacterial wipes after meals and snacks. Hand wipes are preferred to be classified as “Not Hazardous” and contain a protective hand oil.
It’s a common misconception that dishwashing liquids that also claim to be antibacterial hand soaps will be effective on household surfaces like cutting boards, appliance handles, and countertops. The process of cleaning the hands in front of the equipment differs significantly. With our hands, we tend to rub and rub our hands, which greatly helps the cleaning process. With equipment, we tend to just clean it up. Therefore, a more effective method is to use disinfectant wipes on the surfaces.
Disinfectant wipes, by contrast, are generally used on shared office machines, chairs, gym equipment, shopping carts, or in the kitchen and bathrooms. They are effective on many viruses and bacteria. Alcohol is often the active ingredient in disinfectants. However, alcohol is highly flammable and evaporates quickly. You must virtually immerse the object for effective disinfection. Chlorine bleach is another option, but it is quite caustic on the skin, lungs, and eyes. And, mistakenly combining it with ammonia or any other acid like vinegar results in the production of a noxious gas. Since there is ammonia in urine, its use around pets and in bathrooms can be dangerous. Not to mention, they are both pretty smelly. Therefore, synthetic water-based phenolic compounds are highly preferred.
Many wonder if homemade concoctions are effective or not. Studies have shown that most of these have little or no disinfectant properties. When it comes to serious infections such as hepatitis, influenza, salmonella, etc., you must use the most effective and safest substance and methods available. Thorough washing and drying of hands and surfaces along with the use of antibacterial wipes and disinfectant wipes is the most effective prevention you will find.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns that since approximately 20% of the U.S. population attends or works in school, like any other facility with many people in close contact , are privileged places for the transmission of diseases. Some viruses and bacteria will remain alive on doorknobs, cafeteria tables, and desks for two hours or more. Since hand washing sinks are not practical to locate anywhere they can be used, the obvious solution is to locate wet wipes and disinfectant wipes in schools, hospitals, prisons, or anywhere else where large numbers of people gather. .