Disinfectant wipes are a staple during the pandemic, but using them wisely is essential. They only kill germs for a small surface area, so follow the “use it and lose it” rule.
Wipes are usually made from polyester, which is created from fossil fuels. It takes a lot of energy to extract the raw materials, manufacture them into sheets and containers, and transport them to consumers.
Disinfectant wipes are cheap, appealing, and easy to find. Environmental Protection Agency registered disinfectant wipes are designed to kill viruses and germs on hard surfaces like counters, doorknobs, and TV remotes. While they can help clean up messy messes and food, they are not meant to clean toys, and they will not disinfect surfaces with bacteria on them, such as the surface of the skin.
Disinfecting wipes contain bleach, quats, and fragrances to kill germs. These chemicals can be harmful to children, especially infants, and toddlers, who are more susceptible to these toxins. Wipes can also leave a sticky residue, damaging toys over time and leading to unwanted skin issues for kids.
While disinfecting wipes are a great tool during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to remember that washing hands with soap and water is still the best way to stop the spread of infection. It is also necessary to only use disinfectant wipes on hard, nonporous surfaces and always read the label for instructions and precautions.
The main ingredient of most disinfectant wipes is polyester, which is made from petroleum. Crude oil is needed to produce this plastic, and it hurts the environment throughout its extraction, manufacture, and usage. Additionally, it is easily mistaken as a flushable and biodegradable item, which leads to sewage, landfill, and ocean pollution. While some companies now use plant-based materials to make their disinfectant wipes, they are still fossil fuel-based products that require energy to manufacture and distribute.
Cleaning the Kitchen
Cleaning the kitchen is a must, significantly, if kids can quickly drop food on the floor or their hands. Disinfectant wipes are an easy way to pick up and kill germs on surfaces that come into contact with food (countertops, dishes, and more) and quickly get things back to normal.
When disinfecting, you should always read the instructions on the label to ensure the product is safe for the surface and material being cleaned. For example, you should not use disinfectant wipes to clean your wooden kitchen table. The chemicals in the wipes may damage the wood or leave a sticky residue.
Most disinfectant wipes contain ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. These compounds can be toxic when inhaled or ingested. If you are cleaning your home and want to reduce your exposure to these chemicals, it is essential to choose natural cleaners when possible.
Another thing to consider when using disinfectant wipes is how much of the substance is needed to kill bacteria and germs on a specific surface. Wipes should be used only as necessary, pushing germs from one surface to the next. Instead, try to use one wipe for a three-foot squared area.
Cleaning the Bathroom
When cleaning the bathroom, disinfectant wipes can be a great way to quickly and easily clean the toilet, sink, counter, and faucet. Wipes can also be used on shower walls, bathtubs, shower curtains, and bathroom tiles to kill germs and grime. Many disinfectant wipes also have a scrubbing side to help remove tough stains.
Just make sure to follow the usage instructions on the wipes. They will usually instruct you to use enough wipes to keep the surface visibly wet for four minutes to kill germs. Also, be aware that not all disinfectants kill all types of germs. Check the label and EPA website to see what kind of germs the product is approved to kill.
When storing disinfectant wipes, you want to keep them in a closed container and not exposed to the open air. This is because the alcohol in the disinfectant will dry up over time and lose its effectiveness. You will also want to be careful not to use a wet wipe that is too wet, which can spread dirt and germs around.
In addition to using wipes to clean your bathroom, you can use them on items like the toothbrush holder, the kitchen sink, light switches, and door handles. You can even wipe down the garbage disposal to eliminate odors and prevent buildup. Just be sure to dispose of the wipes and adequately flush them down the toilet, as this can cause clogs in pipes and septic systems.
Cleaning the Bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, a place to rest and relax after a long day. Keeping it clean and organized helps ensure a good night’s sleep.
Cleaning a dirty bedroom doesn’t have to be a big chore but requires an efficient routine. Gather all the clutter in a large basket or laundry bin to make the task less time-consuming. This will give you a better view of what needs to be cleaned. This can include anything from old clothing to stray socks and other miscellaneous items.
Once you’ve gathered everything, go through your bedroom and sort through the items. This may include putting all the clothing in the hamper or putting it back in its original storage location if you’re done with it. You can also use a catch-all basket for items that don’t belong in your bedroom, such as unused makeup or medicine.
Once you’ve sorted, wipe down all the surfaces in your bedroom, including your bed and dressers. Wiping down surfaces prevents them from becoming dust magnets and gives the room a new look. It’s also a great time to wipe down mirrors or glass picture frames.