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Are You Wiping Properly?

are wiping properly

Are You Wiping Properly?

With all the scare concern about viruses (especially coronavirus COVID-19) and other dangerous pathogens, I have to ask: are you wiping properly?

You’ve heard of people running to Costco, Sam’s Club or other bulk-buying centers to purchase bottled water, rice, and, yes, wipes. While I can understand the bottled water and rice purchases just for basic disaster preparedness, what really concerns me is the wipes-buying trend.

As far as wipes go (Clorox, Lysol, and others), I believe them to be one of worst inventions EVER in cleaning and sanitizing history.

For starters, using wipes leaves virtually no “dwell time.” Dwell time is the time it takes for your sanitizer (kills most microorganisms) or disinfectant (kills nearly all microorganisms) to remain on a surface to actually kill the germs it is designed to.

According to how Clorox registered with the EPA, in order for bleach to disinfect, a dwell time of at least 10 minutes is required–and that’s after the surface has been thoroughly cleaned. To sanitize, bleach must remain on the surface for one minute or longer.

“Ahh,” you say, “but that’s for bleach, what about wipes?” This is directly from the Clorox Wipes EPA registration [emphasis mine]:

TO DISINFECT [AND DEODORIZE}: Use to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces. Wipe surface to be disinfected; use enough wipes for treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. Let surface dry. For highly soiled surfaces, clean excess dirt first.

For surfaces that may come in contact with food, a potable water rinse is required.

The problem with wipes is that when you use one, whatever disinfectant it is, the liquid evaporates within seconds–nowhere near the required amount of time to destroy the germs you set out to in the first place. Are you seriously using enough wipes to keep the surface visibly wet for four minutes? Of course not.

So what are you doing?

When you fail to thoroughly disinfect or sanitize you create the perfect conditions for germs to learn how to become resistant to chemical cleaners and other antibiotics: superbugs! You’ve heard of MRSA, C. diff, etc. You can read more about superbugs here.

Besides creating superbugs, you are also exposing your family to some really nasty chemicals and toxins. Does someone in your family have asthma? Suffer from “allergies”? Get headaches? It could be the toxic chemicals you’re using to clean and disinfect with.

Nontoxic Doesn’t Mean Non-Effective

Marketing agencies have done their job in convincing you chemicals are the only way to go. They couldn’t be further from the truth!

For millennia humans have used things like vinegar, essential oils, even fermented foods to protect themselves from the ills of dangerous microbes. For some reason (money and lobbying) these nontoxic remedies don’t get marketed like disinfecting wipes or sprays do. For instance, when was the last time you saw a commercial or an ad for white vinegar? Yet vinegar is nontoxic: you can cook with it, do laundry with it, deodorize with it, buy it for less than a bottle of Smart Water and it kills about 90% of harmful microorganisms. (The vinegar industry or any one else can thank me later by sending payment to my PayPal here).

Aside from vinegar there are a slew of nontoxic cleaners and sanitizers on the market I strongly urge you to try. Just google them here.

The Bottom Line

If you find yourself slow to make the switch, that’s okay. I trust that if you have read this far, you may be considering it down the road. Just know that if you continue to use the wipes and follow the real instructions, disinfecting your surroundings may become a more expensive endeavor than you bargained for–in terms of both health and money. No matter the case, if you absolutely must, please be healthy and wipe properly!