The main reason we use disinfecting wipes is for us to get rid of germs. Although it does a good job of accomplishing that task, it could also put your body into something that could potentially do more harm than good when you use them.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – an agency in the United States federal government whose mission is to protect human and environmental health – regulates disinfecting wipes as pesticides. This actually makes sense as these wipes are meant to eliminate germs, which are a type of pest. That is also the reason why there are included first aid instructions on the product labels for accidental exposure, as well as on how to use it for killing pests.
Let’s take a closer look at the composition of these disinfecting wipes we use all over our kitchen and other important surfaces on the thought that we are using it for “good health”.
As for the chemical elements present in these wipes, most of them contain toxic quaternary ammonium compounds also known as “quats”. These compounds can irritate your eyes, lungs, and skin as well as cause asthma and allergies. Check the product if it contains terms like “Alkyl C12-14,” Alkyl C12-18’” or n-Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride” on the labels. If these terms are present in the labels, it’s time to start looking for a replacement. Furthermore, quats are also linked to the development of reproductive problems.
Some wipes are far more dangerous because they contain ortho-phenylphenyl – a known carcinogen. Parabens and formaldehyde releasers are also present in pre-moistened wipes to stop bacteria from growing within the package. Wipes that contains chlorine bleach are also linked to asthma.
Using these wipes needs extra care especially when around children, who are even more vulnerable to pesticide dangers. Their developing organs and small size make them more susceptible so they should never use these wipes. In addition to this, limited exposure to living bacteria may help boost people’s immune system.
Keeping Your Home Clean Without Using Dangerous Chemicals
So here comes the dilemma. Maybe you’re thinking what to do to get rid of germs around your home. To use disinfecting wipes or not. As a matter of fact, there is no concrete evidence that using disinfectants to clean is better at preventing diseases than the standard approach of using soap and water. Moreover, experts warned classrooms and offices to stop using these wipes and advised them to use only in appropriate situations, such as cleaning up bodily fluids from a person with a contagious disease. However, when in this type of situation, it’s better to opt for a wipe with safer compositions. Some good alternative is citric acid, caprylic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and lactic acid.
Paper towels or wet clothes also work surprisingly well when it comes to cleaning but if you want to put your cleaning some extra strength, try using essential oils inside a spray bottle. Peppermint, thyme, tea tree, and lemon oil can all get the job done as well as make the surface more pleasant and fragrant without you worrying about safety.
The Environmental Working Group noted that giving up these toxic wipes in favor of the good old fashioned way of using soap and water could actually leave your surfaces cleaner, that’s because most people don’t use the wipes properly in the first place. And after using the wipes on a certain surface, such as cutting boards where it might come in contact with food, you also need to wash it with water before you can use it. This, in turn, takes a lot more time and effort and also precious money on your part.
Luckily, these wipes are not really needed for most situations and we all know that there’s no safer way to clean than the tried-and-true method of using soap and water. This way, you’ll be saving a lot of money, and most of all, you won’t be putting your family’s health in jeopardy.