You’ve Been Using Clorox Wipes All Wrong: Here’s the Correct Way

By Anna Breuer on 7 May 2020
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In the age of the novel coronavirus, disinfectation is trendy.

Indeed, disinfecting surfaces is an excellent way to contain the spread of the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, and disinfectant wipes such as those made by Clorox and other companies are an excellent way to do that.  When selecting a disinfecting wipe, keep in mind that the product should specifically indicate it’s a disinfectant, which means it destroys or inactivates the viruses and bacteria listed on the product’s label.

There is one small issue about Clorox and bleach that our lawyers require us to get out of the way before going any further.  Thanks to some unwanted publicity, visitors to the Clorox wipes website are greeted with a pop-up banner that says, “Bleach and other disinfectants are not suitable for consumption or injection under any circumstances.”

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s the key point: it’s likely you don’t know the correct way to use disinfectant wipes.

Before anything else, keep in mind that these products are not a substitute for cleaners and that you need to clean the surface first.  This includes any crumbs or spills.

When using a wipe, scrub vigorously and get the surface visibly wet and allow it to dry naturally.  Clorox recommends four minutes for its wipes. If this is a surface that will later come into direct contact with food, rinse the surface with a clean wet paper towel after it dries.

It’s important to understand that these are surface wipes and are not a substitute for baby wipes or Wash ‘n Dry moist towelettes.  Do not use them on your skin, your kid’s skin, or even your pet goldfish for that matter.

Equally important is that, while Clorox wipes can be used on a variety of surfaces, they should never be used in multiple rooms.  Doing that may move germs from one room to anotherif part of the wipe is allowed to become dry.  Instead, cut the wipe in half and use half on each room.  As long as the wipe is wet, it is doing its job.

Another key point is that they should never be used to wipe off anything that comes in contact with your mouth or that you ingest.  This means that they should not be used to wipe off your dishes, even though it sounds like a good idea.  That goes for your canine friend’s food bowl as well.

Also important is that Clorox wipes are not for use on fabric or leather surfaces including clothing.  They are not recommended for clothing stains nor for dirt and grime.  They could cause skin irritation later on as well as worsen the stain in the process.

Finally, when it comes to your smartphone, Apple says it’s ok to use a Clorox wipe or 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes on your devices’ hard, non-porous surfaces including the display, but cautions not to use bleach.  It’s ok to wipe the keyboard gently as well.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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