Alcohol wipes (wet tissue alcohol) can be an incredibly useful tool for keeping things clean and disinfected in a variety of settings. They are cheap, reliable and effective at killing germs on contact. Read on to learn more about how to use alcohol wipes in the home, workplace, and medical setting.
Alcohol wipes in a nutshell
Alcohol wipes can be used for a variety of applications, from cleaning small objects to sanitizing hands.
- Easily clean surfaces
- Promote germ-free environments
- Alcohol wipes are often used for:
- Sanitize hard surfaces
- Remove fingerprints
- Polish glassware
What are alcohol wipes made of?
Alcohol wipes are made from a polyester fabric that resists tearing and does not shed lint-in other words, the wipe itself is non-abrasive. The solution applied to the fabric contains both alcohol and water. The higher the percentage on a canister of isopropyl alcohol wipes, the stronger its concentration. For example, 90% isopropyl alcohol wipes contain more liquid and are therefore wetter than 70% ones.
Learn more: The trusted and famous alcohol wet tissue manufacturer that always care about customer's health
However, 70% alcohol is more effective at killing pathogens than 90%. This is because the added water in a solution dilutes the chemical reaction. When this process is slowed down, alcohol can penetrate pathogens more thoroughly.
1. What is isopropyl alcohol (IPA)?
Isopropyl alcohol is a chemical compound that dissolves dirt and other substances like:
- Flux residues
- Carbon deposits
- And more
Isopropyl alcohol, or IPA for short and also called rubbing alcohol, is a versatile chemical. It can be applied to surfaces as a solvent (to dissolve other substances) or as an antiseptic (to kill germs).
However, it is important to note that alcohol wipes are highly flammable. Individuals who choose to use them should store them safely away from lighters and other open flames.
2. What are alcohol wipes for?
There is a wide variety of applications for alcohol-soaked wipes, including:
- Cleaning fiber optics
- Cleaning hard surfaces
- Cleaning fusion splicers
- Cleaning computer keyboards and mice
- Cleaning display screens
See more detailed in the following section:
2.1 Cleaning contact surfaces
High-touch surfaces are often dirty and collect germs. However, alcohol wipes can help reduce the amount of bacteria that collects over time by cleaning away dirt and grime:
- Door handles
- Coffee makers
- Visitor badges
- Writing utensils
- Elevator buttons
Use alcohol wipes to clean surfaces like grocery store checkout lanes, where diseases can spread quickly.
2.2 Cleaning optical surfaces
Alcohol wipes can be used to clean glasses, contact lenses, and other transparent surfaces, such as:
- Chemistry lab equipment
Mineral deposits in water can cause streaks on glass. This is why many alcohol wet wipes are made with distilled or deionized water: it prevents mineral buildup.
2.3 Cleaning printers and computer keyboards
Many high-touch office equipment develop residue build-up over time. Alcohol wipes help break down residue and prevent build-up in and on:
- Thermal printers
- Computer keyboards
- Computer mice
- Circuit boards
Tasks like printing shipping labels can also lead to residue. Use alcohol wipes often to prevent stubborn build-up from occurring.
2.4 Cleaning electronic devices
By using alcohol wipes on a regular basis, you can keep your electronic devices clean and looking good:
- Computer accessories
- Display screens
- Smart watches
Always check the instructions for cleaning electronic devices before using alcohol wipes.
2.5 Deodorizing household items
Because alcohol can kill odor-causing bacteria, they can be used to deodorize common household items like:
- Gym bags
- Exercise equipment
Alcohol wipes are an effective way to remove strong odors from household items. Wipe down shoes and exercise equipment regularly in order to prevent odor build-up.
2.6 Cleaning jewelry
Because jewelry is often worn every day, it collects dirt and bacteria. Alcohol wipes can help keep jewelry clean with regular use.
Wipe jewelry with a soft alcohol wipe to remove dirt and bacteria. This not only prevents the build-up of bacteria, but it may also prolong the life of your precious pieces!
2.7 Cleaning oil, dust, and other contaminants
Because alcohol is such a versatile substance, it's often used to clean many different surfaces.
- Makeup brushes
- Dry erase boards
- Stainless steel
2.8 Alcohol Wipes for medical
Alcohol wipes are a must in any medical setting, used to clean and disinfect clinical surfaces prior to administering treatments. They are also commonly used to clean the skin before injection procedures or when drawing blood samples. Alcohol wipes can also be used to quickly sanitize hands and other areas of the body between patient interactions. They are particularly favored due to their ability to kill germs in a short amount of time, leaving no potentially harmful residue on the surface.
Are alcohol wipes safe to use on cuts or for cleaning wounds?
Many people use alcohol wipes to disinfect bug bites or care for pierced ears. However, the NHS recommends cleaning minor injuries with soap and water instead of alcohol-based solutions.
- Scrub the cut, scrape, or wound under running water for five to ten minutes.
- Soak gauze or cloth in a saline solution.
- Lightly dab the surface of skin with a wipe.
- Apply a soft cloth to the surface and rub in small circles.
- Place a sterile dressing over the wound and apply pressure to stop bleeding if necessary.
NOTE: In case of serious injury or other medical emergencies, seek immediate medical attention.
Are alcohol wipes safe for people who are allergic to alcohol?
Some people may experience an allergic reaction when they come in contact with isopropyl alcohol. Signs of such a reaction include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
Allergic reactions to isopropyl alcohol may occur. A medical professional should be consulted imminently in the event of an allergic reaction (although rare, anaphylaxis can result). Seek immediate emergency care if you experience:
- Loss of consciousness
- Stopped breathing
- Severe swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
Alcohol wipes make it easy to sanitize and polish surfaces. Use them to remove fingerprints, residue build-up, or bacteria from high-touch areas-and in many cases they can help reduce the risk of disease spread too!