Non-Alcohol Wipes: The Best Choice to Protect Your Health, Skin, and Surfaces

Disinfecting a surface is the only way to completely kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi. To disinfect, the CDC advises the use of products on the EPA’s List N, which have been proven to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). While many products on the list contain alcohol, the list also contains a number of non-alcohol wipe options, which can be an ideal alternative to alcohol-based wipes.

Why should I avoid alcohol wipes?
Alcohol wipes are effective at disinfecting surfaces, yet using them can cause a variety of negative side effects that impact the health of employees and facility guests. They can also degrade the materials and surfaces within your facilities. Listed below are several of the harmful consequences that come from using alcohol wipes:

  • Cracked skin
    Alcohol wipes contain ingredients that dry quickly. If you are often handling these wipes without gloves, it can cause your skin to dry out and crack.
  • Skin irritation
    Using alcohol wipes without gloves can lead to an allergic reaction, burning, and itching. The residue that remains once the solution has dried can also cause a burning sensation for people with sensitive skin.
  • Increased supply costs
    For safety reasons, such as the ones listed above, it is important to wear gloves every time when handling alcohol wipes, which can quickly escalate cleaning supply costs.
  • Hard surface corrosion
    The ethanol found in alcohol wipes will dissolve the finish of surfaces, especially if they are painted, varnished, or lacquered.
  • Soft surface cracking
    Alcohol not only pulls out surface moisture but removes any protective coatings. With time, using alcohol wipes on plastic, vinyl, and leather will cause the surfaces to crack.
  • Damaged electronics
    Overuse of alcohol wipes will lessen the touch-screen response of electronics as it slowly removes the protective coating on the glass. If you use a check-in tablet at your facility, you may have to replace it much sooner than anticipated.

Alternatives to alcohol wipes
To maintain the most hygienic conditions in your facilities, always choose an EPA registered disinfecting product. You can frequently discern if a product is alcohol-based through its packaging or online description.

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