Disinfecting Wipes & Solutions
Because germs are everywhere, hospital-grade disinfecting wipes and solutions can be a critical part of maintaining a healthier environment. They float through the air, and they coat surfaces. When you need to disinfect or sanitize surfaces, Vitality Medical has what you need.
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Active agents of hospital grade wipes and solutions include isopropyl alcohol, chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and quaternary ammonium compounds.
- Antibacterial wipes and solutions - kill bacteria found on surfaces, such as floors, tables, and chairs. You could choose the CaviWipes Disinfecting Wipes or the Clorox Healthcare Bleach Spray .
- Antimicrobials - kill or slow the growth of bacteria, viruses, or fungi. See the AF3 Surface Wipes or the HB Germicidal by Sani-Cloth.
- Sanitizing solutions - reduces the number of microscopic entities on a surface. Products like the Hard Surface Disinfectant Spray is a convenient solution.
- Sterilization - (sporicidal) kills pretty much everything on the treated surface. Autoclaving ensures sterility. When you have an object that you cannot autoclave, then treating it with a multi-purpose disinfectant and sporicide can do the trick.
How To Choose The Right Disinfectant
We offer various wipes and solutions to help you maintain your facilities - from sanitizing to sterilizing. To help you decide, you can use this handy little guide.
Selection should depend on the function of the disinfectant. Decisions need to include the effectiveness against the potential pathogenic agent, safety to people, impact on equipment, the environment, and expense.
- What are you cleaning?
- What microbes and pathogens concern you the most?
- What is the kill time?
- Is the surface kept wet for the length of the kill time, or will you need to reapply?
- Is the product safe for the surfaces it is going on?
- Can you immerse the object you are sterilizing?
- How fast is the expected turn around time?
- What function does the object serve?
- Is the object used to perform invasive procedures, such as cutting?
- How critical is it using the Spalding Scale?
- Does it come into contact with living tissue?
- Is the product safe for people to use?
- Are the required steps practical for your facility?
Isopropyl alcohol can be an effective antibacterial. It kills vegetative forms of bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Plus, it kills fungi and enveloped viruses, such as influenza. However, it does not kill spores. Nor is it very effective against non-enveloped viruses.1
Alcohol loses much of its effectiveness when there is organic matter present. Alcohol is flammable and must be stored away from heat.
For it to be effective, it must have a concentration of at least 50% alcohol, although the optimal range is between 60 - 90%. Alcohol, combined with water, denatures certain microorganisms. But, it has a fast drying time, which necessitates reapplication to keep the surface wet throughout the entire kill time (at least 10 minutes).
When you need the convenience of an alcohol wipe, you can try these Isopropanol Alcohol Disinfectant Wipes.
Chlorine has a wide range of antimicrobial activities, killing both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses alike when used with the correct dilution and contact time. It works well even when in contact with hard water. But, like alcohol, it does not kill spores. The CDC recommends it to decontaminate hepatitis and AIDS viruses on surfaces.2
Chlorine has a kill time of just a few minutes. You will need to clear away organic materials for products with chlorine to work. Your solution needs to be fresh to be most effective.
The drawbacks to chlorine include skin and eye irritation, and oropharyngeal, esophageal, and gastric burns. In high concentrations >500 ppm, it is corrosive to metals. It burns the skin. And it removes color from fabrics.
Warning: Mixing chlorine with ammonia or acid produces a toxic gas.
The OSHA recommended solution for disinfecting contaminated equipment with severe surface contamination is to mix 11-1/2 cups of bleach with one gallon of water. Douse the surfaces and let stand for 3 minutes. Wipe down with a paper towel and then re-wet using a hand wash solution.
Are you looking for a chlorine-based solution? You can try these bleach wipes.
Hydrogen Peroxide leaves no residue and, it degrades into oxygen and water. In low-concentrations, it does have a narrow range of limits. In high-concentrations, on the other hand, are highly reactive with other chemicals. The oxygen it produces is flammable.3
It is a strong oxidizer, that when stabilized, is effective against pathogens such as enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, vegetative bacteria, fungi, and bacterial spores.
When you need a sanitizing hydrogen peroxide wipe or spray, you can try this solution from Chlorox.
Glutaraldehyde kills across the spectrum of microorganisms, being effective against bacteria (including Mycobacterium tuberculosis), viruses, fungi, spores, and parasites. It leaves a residue, which has a moderate amount of residual activity. It works even when there is a small amount of organic material present.4
It can be highly toxic, so exercise caution while using it and wear personal protective equipment. Ensure that you have plenty of ventilation while employing this chemical.
You can use this sterilant on plastics, rubber, lenses, or stainless steel. It is an excellent alternative to autoclaving.
For a superior high-level disinfectant, you can use Cidex 14 Day Solutions if you would like.
Ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) has excellent stability from pH3 to pH9. It kills Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other bacteria. Plus, it gets rid of viruses, fungi, and spores.5
OPA does not irritate eyes or nasal cavities and has just the slightest odor. And it does not require activation - it can begin killing right out of the bottle.
It does stain proteins gray, which includes exposed skin, so handle with caution and wear personal protective equipment. Rinse your decontaminated objects thoroughly.
For high-level decontamination of sensitive and semi-critical equipment, you can choose Cidex OPA if you would like.
Autoclaving, while not chemically based, is a highly effective method that sterilizes critical equipment for use in surgery and other more invasive procedures.6
A combination of heat and steam kills all pathogens and spores.
If you need an autoclave, we carry the Ritter M11 autoclave.
Spaulding Classification for Medical Disinfectant Solutions7
First proposed in 1957, this system classifies medical equipment into one of three categories - namely critical, semi-critical, and non-critical.
Critical objects are those devices which come into contact with sterile tissue or the vascular system. These devices require sterilization before reuse.
Semi-critical objects are those that come into contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin. These require a high level of disinfection before reuse.
Non-critical objects come into contact with intact skin only. They require a low-level of disinfection.
How to Properly Use Disinfecting Wipes
People often use wipes to clean and disinfect. To kill the most pathogens, however, clean the surface before applying the wipe. Once all debris and organic matter are gone, you can begin to disinfect.8
- Start in one corner and wipe the surface using a systematic approach. Use long, straight strokes, rather than a swirling pattern. (Swirls or circles tend to miss spots.) Overlap each stroke.
- Make sure the surface is wet.
- Keep the surface stays wet during the entire time recommended on the label (typically five to ten minutes).
- If the surface does not stay wet the entire time, the disinfectant will not have sufficient killing power.
- Let air dry. (Drying with a towel can transfer hundreds of thousands of microorganisms onto your disinfected surface.)
How to Properly Use Disinfection Solutions
- Clean the target surface, washing away any debris or organic material.
- Thoroughly spray the surface to make it wet.
- Maintain the wetness for the indicated time (shown on the product label).
- Let air dry9.
Each chemical has an optimal temperature range. Each also has a certain cleanliness threshold. Some, for example, become inactive when in contact with organic material. For others, it does not matter. Check the labeling for optimal operating conditions.
- Failure to follow the instructions found on the label can result in insufficient killing power. Instead, you may be spreading germs.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling. Follow indications for washing hands after application.
- Do not swallow. In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical attention immediately.
- If contact with eyes occurs, flush with water and seek medical attention.
- Always use in a well-ventilated area.
- Never mix chemicals as deadly bi-products may occur.
- Kill or weaken bacteria. Generally, you need to rinse these agents off after use
- Hard surfaces
- Use only once on one surface and then discard
- Kill or slow the growth of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
- Often used synonomously for antibiotic.
- Antimicrobial therapy.
- High Level disinfecting of medical instruments.
- Removal of excess microscopic entities. To reduce the possibility of spreading illness.
- Food preparation.
- After using high touch areas (such as toilets, public-access doors, etc.).
- Sterilization of surfaces and instruments.
- Surgical equipment.
- Critical medical equipment.
Where They Are Used
- Disinfectant wipes and solutions are nearly ubiquitous. People use them in their homes, in their workspaces.
- Daycare centers and schools use germicidal wipes to clean and disinfect.
- Doctors and dentists use them after every patient.
- Hospitals could not function without medical disinfectant wipes.
The Dangers of Overuse
When you aim to kill more germs than is necessary (for example, sterilizing your kitchen table), you may be contributing to the creation of superbugs. Each time you kill these microscopic entities with a disinfectant cleaning solution, a few survive. When they reproduce, they pass on the ability to resist the chemical you use.
Disinfectants kill 'good' bacteria and viruses, as well as pathogens, leaving the door wide open for the 'bad' varieties to grow unchecked.
Check out Vitality Medical's hospital-grade wipes when you need serious disinfecting power at your fingertips.
Manuals and Documents
- CDC Disinfection Guidelines for Hospitals contains guidelines.
- Spaulding Classification of Medical Equipment contains the Spaulding Classification.
- Disinfectant Selections Guidelines contains the Disinfectant Selection Guidelines.
- Alcohol as a Surgical Disinfectant. AORN Journal 1964 (2) Issue 5 67-71,.
- Chemical Disinfectants. CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,.
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Labs "Selection and Use of Disinfectants." BCCDC Labs
- 7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "A Rational Approach to Disinfection and Sterilization." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- 8, 9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Disinfection and Sterilization ."Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)