Disinfectant Sprays vs Wipes: Pros and Cons

Wiping countertop with disinfectant wipe

We’re all waging a war on germs—and we need the right weapon to win. In the cleaning supplies aisle, we’re faced with a choice between disinfectant sprays and wipes. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each tool so you can make an informed decision.


What Makes a Spray a Disinfecting Spray?

Not every cleaning spray on the market is actually a disinfectant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to be considered a disinfectant, the spray must contain a chemical that kills germs on surfaces. Because of this, disinfecting sprays are actually classified as pesticides. It is vital that you read the label on any disinfecting spray before using and that you follow the directions exactly to ensure your safety as well as optimal effectiveness.


What Makes a Wipe a Disinfecting Wipe?

When is a wipe a disinfecting wipe? Just as in disinfecting sprays, disinfecting wipes must contain an active ingredient that kills bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses. Disinfecting wipes help prevent cross-contamination when used as directed on the label. Always read the label carefully to make sure that the wipe is compatible with the surface you want to clean, and always follow the directions of use to make sure you’re using it properly and effectively.


Disinfecting Sprays vs. Disinfecting Wipes: The Pros and Cons

What are the pros and cons of disinfecting sprays vs. disinfecting wipes? In our comparison, we will focus on three categories everyone keeps in mind: cost, ease of use, and effectiveness.



Ounce for ounce, we’ll give this one to disinfectant sprays. As the more familiar product that’s been around longer, most brands of disinfectant spray come in at a lower price point than disinfecting wipes.

If you’re opting for disinfecting sprays, you’ll also need to buy paper towels, cloths, or sponges to use along with it, which impacts your overall cost savings.


Ease of Use

When it comes to being easier to use, disinfectant wipes win, hands down. No mixing, measuring, or additional supplies needed. Everything you need is in one package. 

Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes are pre-moistened with an all-in-one proprietary solution specially designed to clean, deodorize, sanitize, and disinfect. Made from renewable, plant-based fibers, they’re also 64% larger than the leading household wipe!



While both wipes and sprays are equally effective in killing bacteria and viruses, the primary con for both is also the same -- applying the disinfectant and removing it too soon (or not making sure it remains wet long enough) is the #1 mistake people make. To avoid this mistake, be sure to read and follow the contact time on the label. The contact times vary by brand and typically range from 3 minutes to 10 minutes.

Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes kill 99.9% of bacteria** and viruses* in 3 minutes, including the COVID-19 virusɸ. Other leading brands have contact times of 4 minutes or longer.


And the Winner Is...

After weighing the pros and cons, the difference is clear—and so is the winner. Disinfectant cleaning wipes like Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes are a cost-effective, efficient, and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from germs. 

You can get them in store at Costco warehouses nationwide.


*Effective against common cold virus caused by Coronavirus and common flu virus caused by Influenza A H3N2 Virus

**Effective against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella enterica (Salmonella), Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria), Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep), Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

ɸKills SARS-CoV-2 on hard, nonporous surfaces



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