Hand sanitisers, antibacterial hand washes, face masks… these are some of the must-have items at the moment, given the dreadful year of COVID-19 pandemic. Another thing that you will regularly spend your money on is antibacterial wipes. They are useful for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces contaminated with germs and bacteria. However, that doesn’t mean antibacterial wipes should be treated as an all-in-one cleaning and disinfecting solution. Below are the 10 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make With Antibacterial Wipes.
1) Wipe Your Phone Screen
Whether you realise it or not, your smartphone is a thriving environment for germs and bacteria. The reason? You use the phone every day whether indoors or outdoors. In other words, you likely carry and touch your phone more often than anything else in a day. You might be thinking that sanitising your dirty phone screen with an antibacterial wipe would be a good idea. Unfortunately, antibacterial wipes aren’t made suitable for it due to the chemical reaction that might ruin the coating on the phone screen. Your safest bet? Try using an anti-static microfibre cloth dampened with a bit of water. Also, remember to switch off your phone first before proceeding with the cleaning. Rub the screen gently and allow to air-dry before turning your phone back on.
2) Cleaning Your Children’s Toys
Thinking of using the antibacterial wipes to clean your kids’ toys? The answer: don’t. Here’s why: Antibacterial wipes contain chemical ingredients. Imagine you use them to wipe the surface of your kids’ toys. And then, your kids end up touching or perhaps putting the toys in their mouths. Definitely not a good idea. Instead, try some of these safer cleaning methods, namely using the good old soap and water solution to wash plastic toys (leave the electrical or battery-operated ones out of it). Alternatively, you can use surface wipes to clean your kids’ toys and allow them to air-dry for a few minutes.
3) Using Them To Disinfect Kitchen Countertops
Germs and bacteria love to thrive in moist environments such as the kitchen countertops. You may think that wiping your countertops with antibacterial wipes is sufficient. However, that’s hardly the case. To properly disinfect your countertops, try using this simple combo of hot water, soap and sponge. Alternatively, look out for a disinfectant spray specially formulated for kitchen uses such as this one.
4) Wipe Your Leather Goods
Disinfecting your leather goods such as shoes, bags and chairs with antibacterial wipes can actually do more harm than good. Most antibacterial wipes typically contain alcohol, the very ingredient that can dehydrate supple leather. If you insist on using antibacterial wipes regularly, your leather goods will dry out. The solution? Look for cleaning products specially made for leather or use a dampened, clean cloth.
5) You Clean Your Hands With Them
Antibacterial wipes may be versatile for cleaning various surfaces. But one of the “surfaces” you should avoid wiping with antibacterial wipes is your hands. Unlike hand sanitisers specially designed, well, for disinfecting your hands, antibacterial wipes can leave a residue on the skin. Not to mention the alcohol ingredient may cause an allergic reaction to the skin as well. However, certain antibacterial wipes such as this one from Alcosm are made versatile for surface and skin. Otherwise, you can go old-school by washing your hands thoroughly with plain soap and running tap water.
6) Using Them To Wipe Hardwood Floor
Hardwood and antibacterial wipes do not mix. The likes of alcohol and other chemical ingredients are the root of the cause, which in turn, may ruin your hardwood floor. This is especially true if you use the antibacterial wipes repeatedly. The thing is, hardwood surfaces require to dry immediately to prevent the loss of shine and moisture damage. Antibacterial wipes tend to leave a wet residue on the surfaces. To put it simply, water is the worst enemy for hardwoods or any other woods. Instead, use floor cleaners specially designed for wood floorings to clean the surface.
7) Cleaning The Carpet
Soft surfaces, namely carpets do not react well if you use antibacterial wipes. These carpets absorb moisture, rendering the wipes practically useless to perform what they are supposed to do. So, if you want to clean your carpet, use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filtration system. Or try using a cleaning solution specially made for carpets such as this one or this one.
8) You Are Using It More Than Once
So, antibacterial wipes happen to be a disposable item. And you are thinking of using each sheet frugally by cleaning more than one surface, say a doorknob and then on the desk. In theory, it looks as if you are saving money. But here’s the thing: A sheet of these antibacterial wipes are best used for one area each. Using the same one over and over again would spread more dirt and germs.
9) You Are Still Using It Past Its Expiration Date
Be sure to read the fine print when you purchase a packet of antibacterial wipes from the supermarket. This fine print in question happens to be both the manufacturing and expiration dates. But some of you might be asking, what would happen if you insist on using expired antibacterial wipes? First, you’ll find that the familiar scent starts to be off, and it also loses its effectiveness. If that’s the case, better toss them away and buy a new one instead.
10) Flushing The Wipes Down The Toilet
Speaking of tossing them away, do not treat antibacterial wipes like your regular toilet roll. That means it’s not a good idea to flush a used or expired antibacterial wipe down the toilet bowl. Here’s why: These antibacterial wipes are made from a thicker base compared to toilet rolls. They can end up clogging your toilet if you are unlucky. Instead, discard them properly in the trash bin.