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Disinfecting Wipes: Everything You Need to Know

Cleaning a doorknob

Disinfecting wipes are a must-have around the house, especially during cold and flu season. They’re also great to have at work, at school, at the gym, and anywhere else you might need an easy, fast, convenient way to disinfect. 

So what’s the best way to use a wipe to ensure it’s effectively killing germs?

In this article, we’ll cover everything from how to buy disinfecting wipes to how to use them correctly--all in one clean swipe!


What are disinfecting wipes?

To best understand what disinfecting wipes are, let’s start with what they aren’t. Disinfecting wipes are not the same as antibacterial wipes, and should not be used in the same way. Disinfecting wipes are EPA-registered pre-moistened, prepackaged towelettes that have been approved to kill bacteria and viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces [*].


What ingredients are in disinfecting wipes?

Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes ingredients contain a quaternary ammonium solution designed to clean, deodorize, sanitize, and disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces. They also feature regular and scrubbing applicators designed to help you tackle a variety of cleaning challenges.


How do disinfecting wipes work?

Disinfecting is not the same as cleaning. According to the Environmental Working Group, disinfecting wipes kill germs on objects using antimicrobial pesticides, while cleaning products may remove germs from surfaces [*].  

The disinfecting solution in Nice 'N CLEAN® Disinfecting Wipes kills viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19ɸ, the common cold virus caused by coronavirus, and the common flu virus caused by Influenza A H3N2 Virus. It is included on the EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Tips for using disinfecting wipes

Here are some key tips for using disinfecting wipes safely and effectively:

  • Before using disinfecting wipes, thoroughly remove soil, grease, and dirt from your surface with hot water and soap.
  • Read the product label to make sure you are using the right disinfecting wipe for your surface.
  • Check the moisture level of the disinfecting wipe. If the wipes have dried out, they won’t be effective.
  • Using one disinfecting wipe at a time, wipe from top to bottom of your surface, making sure to leave the area wet and shiny. Use multiple wipes for larger surfaces.
  • Let the surface area air dry for the correct contact time as specified on the disinfecting wipes package. Contact time is the amount of time it takes for a disinfectant to sit on a surface before a particular pathogen is rendered inactive. 
  • Always throw away used disinfecting wipes in the trash. Never flush them down the toilet.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after using disinfecting wipes.


What to look for when buying disinfecting wipes 

Keep in mind that disinfecting wipes are powerful tools—they are meant to kill viruses and bacteria, which classifies them as a pesticide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Always check for an EPA number on the label of any wipes you are going to use. If you find an EPA number, they are disinfecting wipes, and should never be used on human skin or used by children. It also means that the skin or hands should be rinsed with water after use, so be sure to see the product label for specific instructions.

The EPA website regularly updates its list of EPA-accepted pesticide products to keep consumers informed. Check your product against the antimicrobial pesticide list to be sure your disinfecting wipes are EPA-approved.


Where can you use disinfecting wipes?

To protect against the common cold, the flu, and the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises disinfecting frequently-touched, nonporous surfaces, including "tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks" every day. 

Before you disinfect a surface, however, check the master label to ensure that the product can be used on that surface. And, if you’re using a new product, take the time to test a small surface area before you disinfect an entire space with disinfecting wipes.


Ready to buy wet wipes?

Wondering where to buy disinfecting wipes? You can buy our disinfecting wipes in store at Costco or online at the Nice 'N CLEAN® website. The Nice 'N CLEAN® brand also offers baby, flushable, antibacterial, and lens wipes to make your life more convenient. 


tips for using disinfecting wipes


ɸKills SARS-CoV-2 on hard, nonporous surfaces in 3 minutes

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