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5 Things you didn't know about disinfectant wipes.

David Cartwright

From the perspective of a small business, wipes may well have been the saviour over recent months. They provide a quick easy way to clean almost everything and have helped us to push forwards at a time whilst even the basics have been pretty unbearable. It's very difficult to criticise anything that allows us to have even the slightest degree of normality, in what would otherwise have been a largely unrecognisable existence when compared with life pre-covid (do you remember!?). So what's the problem?

If you give it some thought, I am sure that you will realise that wipes are effectively litter. There are also a whole host of negative impacts that wipes have to businesses that may not have been considered.

1 – Wipes are a faf and time consuming

Wipes can be incredibly convenient, if we have the task of disinfecting one device, once or twice a day for our own personal use then great. But what if suddenly there are multiple people, sharing the same equipment. Suddenly a much bigger job emerges.

Time is our most valuable resource and we really do lose more of it than we would like simply wiping down our equipment, fetching (or finding) wipes, and more importantly, not doing the things that we should be getting on with. 

2 – Device Damage

Have you ever considered running your laptop under the tap to clean it? Didn't think so, so why is it ok to use wipes to cleanse sensitive electronic equipment. Admittedly it is’t the same thing but there are similarities. The active part of the wipes are the liquid that they contain, and yes that is damaging to electrical components. I actually was sent official cleaning instructions from Zebra scanners (barcode scanners used in warehouses) that have warnings of potential damage that wipes cause. The wipes may be cheap, but the devices most certainly aren't!

3 – Environmental Impact

Type in any variation of wipes and environment into google and you will be inundated with articles about the negative impact that wipes have on the environment. Granted, a large portion of these are specific to baby wipes, but hang on a minute, are they any different to the one that we are using for our laptops? The answer is no. The reality is that as we are using wipes day in day out to disinfect a whole host of things in the workplace, our drains sewers and landfills are filling up, not to mention the impact on aquatic life because of the chemical content.

Stop using them, they cause a lot of environmental damage. You can read a great article about this here

4 – They don't actually work

Perhaps one of the most shocking revelations about wipes is that they only achieve advertised efficacy if the area to be cleansed remains wet with the chemical contents for 5 minutes.

For the most part, particularly at home, I am sure that wipes would do the trick. The level of risk is much lower and they do kill a significant amount of bacteria and viruses (A recent study by Uvsian shows the difference here). But in the workplace with numerous people touching and sharing a variety of equipment, are they really adequate? 

5 – Wipes aren't as cheap as you might think

Did you know that the average cost of wipes is close to around £0.08 ($0.10) per wipe. You need to be buying in bulk to achieve that price too. Imagine the cost of that multiplied across multiple items, cleaned multiple times per day, and it's not difficult to reach a number in excess of £100 per month. Granted, you need to have the requirement but the moment you find yourself running out of wipes, again, consider how many you are actually getting though.

In summary

So there you have it… we hope these 5 tips about the wipes we are getting through are useful. Our aim isn't to prevent safety, so please don't sacrifice cleaning routines or practices based on this article. We do however ask you to consider the implications and more importantly the alternatives, is there a better way of doing things. Check out our main site here for more about our UV-C disinfection cabinets, or why not read another of our articles below.

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