A review of wipes used to disinfect hard surfaces in health care facilities


      • Compatibility of disinfectants with material from which wipes are made is important.
      • Contact times on product labels should be evidence-based and practical.
      • Periodically test the concentration of disinfectants requiring dilution or mixing.
      • More detailed instructions for use are needed for ready-to-use (RTU) wipes.
      • An internationally accepted method for testing wipe efficacy is needed.



      Despite a plethora of wipes available for use in health care facilities, there is a paucity of articles describing wipe composition, potential interactions between wipes and disinfectants, the manner in which wipes are used, and their relative efficacy. The purpose of this article is to provide an in-depth review of wipes used for disinfection of hard surfaces in health care settings.


      Comprehensive searches of the Pubmed database and Internet were conducted, and articles published from 1953 through September 2019 and pertinent on-line documents were reviewed. Bibliographies of relevant articles were reviewed.


      Wipes vary considerably in their composition, and the disinfectants with which they are used. With reusable dry wipes, the ratio of wipe material to disinfectant and the amount of disinfectant absorbed by the wipe and delivered to surfaces is difficult to standardize, which may affect their efficacy. The manner in which wipes are used by health care personnel is highly variable, due in part to insufficient instructions for use and inadequate education of relevant personnel.


      Additional research is needed regarding the best practices for using different types of wipes, improved methods for educating staff, and establishing the relative efficacy of wipes in reducing environmental contamination and health care-associated infections.

      Key Words

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