Which wipes should I be using to combat Covid-19?

One of the most common questions we get asked is what Anti-viral wipes should we be using to protect against Coronavirus. it is important to note when choosing wipes that the EN1476 is clearly stated on any packaging that may be used and that it is safe to be used on human skin (not just a ‘surface wipe’). Contrary to social media folklore Baby Wipes and AntiBac Wipes will not cut the mustard when it comes to meeting the standards required to combat the virus. Many wipes may say on the packet kills 99.9% of all known germs, but even this is a fail in the eyes of the european standards agency so always look for 99.99% as only the best can make this claim. Some wipes, like the kind made with benzalkonium chloride, are only approved to kill bacteria. They might not work as well on viruses so they are not approved to do this. Wipes that say “disinfectant” on the label usually kill bacteria, viruses, and mold. Checking the product’s label for the EPA registration number helps find out what it is approved to do.

How to use which wipes and where for the best effects…

Did you know to successfully kill germs on the surface you are wiping, you shouldn’t dry it straight after wiping? The surface or hands should stay visibly wet for a while. It could be anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. The amount of time depends on the product’s
ingredients and what germs you are trying to kill. Usually the wipes label will include directions. You can search by the product’s registration number to find out more on the EPA website. Most wipes can clean and disinfect, but if the surface is really dirty you should really clean it before sanitising it for best results. A lot of dirt and grime can make it hard for disinfectants to do
their job. You can clean surfaces properly with soapy water or another household cleaner before disinfecting. Most wipes aren’t made for soft surfaces like carpet or fabric. The reason for this is fabrics or textiles suck up moisture from the wipe. This means they don’t stay wet long enough for the chemicals to work in killing germs. Wipes work well on hard, nonporous things like plastic and stainless steel. These type of surfaces are where germs, including viruses like COVID-19, tend to stay around the longest.

Experts aren’t sure how much you can disinfect with a single wipe…

A wipe loses moisture the more you use it. If a wipe gets to dry you could end up spreading germs from one surface to another. Studies have shown wipes may work best on 1-2 square feet if the surface stays wet long enough. So it’s ok to disinfect a couple of light switches, doorknobs or other touch points with the same wipe, but its best to keep using fresh wipes for different surfaces, for the best outcome. Wipes should be stored at room temperature. If they get too warm, such as in a hot car, they could dry out. Disposable wipes can’t kill germs without moisture, so its best to ensure you close the lid properly after using so they don’t dry out.

On another note, wipes need to go in general waste, and the same goes for paper towels. Once they are used they cannot be recycled as they are classed as contaminated waste. They should not be flushed down the toilet as they can clog your pipes and even cause a sewage backup down the line. Even “flushable” wipes don’t break up in water the way toilet paper does. Sewer spills can end up in lakes, rivers, or oceans, which is not good for the environment.

Why do I need to use disinfectant wipes?

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads between people through small droplets released from the nose or mouth of an infected person, like many other respiratory viruses. These droplets can either be inhaled by people nearby or can land on surfaces. When the surfaces are touched by uninfected people, it often leads to the transmission of the virus. Studies have shown that COVID-19 can survive in air droplets for as long as three hours, and on some hard surfaces for up to three days. This points up the need to regularly sanitise surfaces that people regularly touch, using antibacterial wipes or surface sanitiser sprays, and also regularly sanitise your hands.

Surfaces that need regular sanitising include: Door handles, Light Switches, Computer Keyboard and Mouse, Desks / Tables / Worktops, Phones, Photocopier Buttons, Pens, Coffee Machine Buttons, Kettles, Teapots, Lift / Elevator Buttons, Remote Controls, Bathroom fixtures and of course Toilets.

It is a good idea to have a company cleaning schedule or plan to make sure disinfecting happens as regular as it needs to, especially since the recent pandemic. Having hand sanitiser gel and a wipes dispenser station placed in easy to get to areas helps ensure your staff have easy access to disinfectant products. Consider making your wipes holder more aesthetically pleasing at work with a stylish wipes dispenser station with a built in bin, available in black, white or grey colours. Ensure wipes are easily to hand and quick to dispose of with a designated waste bin! Waste bin includes our Longopac continuous liner system, improves hygiene, reduces plastic usage, saves time. Click here to see how the Longopac liners improve hygiene & reduce cross infection control.

What is EN1276 Standard?

BS EN 1276 is the European standard for the bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants as proof of effective infection control against harmful micro-organisms such as MRSA, Salmonella, E.Coli, Flu Virus (H1N1) and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. In order to pass this standard, products have been tested by an independent laboratory and must prove a bacteria kill rate of 99.999% within 5 minutes.

What is EN14476 Standard?

EN 14476 is a European standard which means the product is tested to evaluate the virucidal activity of chemical disinfectants intended for use in the medical area. In order to recieve this standard, the product must be tested to kill the following viruses: Poliovirus type 1, Adenovirus type 5 and murine norovirus. This is because these viruses are more resistant to disinfectants, and when a disinfectant is active against them can be considered effective against any other virus not tested, including coronavirus.

What is EN1500 Standard?

The EN 1500 is a European Standard test method that evaluates the efficacy of a hygienic handrub, by measuring the number of viable bacteria remaining on the fingertips after contamination and handrub exposure. A handrub is defined as a treatment that involves rubbing the hands without the addition of water, such as hand sanitiser gel, or the liquid in hand sanitiser wipes. This method specifically simulates conditions for establishing if a hygienic handrub decreases the release of transient flora from the hands.

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