Do Baby Wipes Disinfect? – A Brief Guide
For most parents, having a new child in the home can bring new challenges and joys all at the same time. With each new addition, you will undoubtedly begin to stock diapers, and even baby wipes to clean up their bums after every bowel movement. But do baby wipes disinfect surfaces in need of sanitizing?
Baby wipes don't kill germs because they're not meant to do that. In this article, we will discuss what's in baby wipes, why they're not able to kill germs, and how to keep you and your baby clean through the whole diaper changing.
What’s in Baby Wipes?
Baby wipes are mostly made of materials such as cotton, polyester, polypropylene, wood pulp, or rayon fibers formed into sheets. They may be packaged individually or in bulk packaging. Water and other ingredients, such as cleansing and moisturizing agents, moisten the wipes. They may also contain other components, like preservatives, to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.
Do baby wipes disinfect? The answer is not really since they don't include germ-killing disinfectants. For instance, a baby wipe does not contain sodium hypochlorite, which is the germ-killing ingredient in many bleach-based disinfecting wipes. The antimicrobial ingredient called Alkyl (50% C14, 40% C12, 10% C16) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride common in household disinfectants is also not found in baby wipes. Most baby wipes, on the other hand, only contain mild softeners and conditioners like aloe vera.
Some wipes are labeled as scented, unscented, or fragrance-free. While the FDA doesn't have regulations on the use of these terms, cosmetic labeling must be truthful and not misleading. Basically, the word "unscented" means that the product doesn't have a prominent scent. But it may still contain "masking" fragrance ingredients to hide some unpleasant smell of other ingredients.
Do Baby Wipes Disinfect?
As mentioned earlier, the answer to the question do baby wipes disinfect is no. Baby wipes don't contain disinfectants, and therefore, are not able to kill germs. A baby's skin is very sensitive; that's why only the mildest ingredients are added in baby wipes to prevent skin allergies and infections.
Having said so, never use a household cleaning wipe on your baby because they're not designed for a person's skin. Similarly, don't bother using your baby wipes to clean and sanitize your counters and faucets because they don't contain those disinfecting agents.
Keeping your Baby and Home Clean
Never rely on a baby wipe to clean your hands. If you're worried about germs, it won't be enough to swab your hands with a baby wipe after a diaper change. When changing a baby's diaper, follow these simple steps to ensure that everyone's clean:
- Wipe your baby's bottom when needed and throw away both the diaper and the wipe.
- Wash your hands and remember the 20-second rule to make sure you've taken enough time to get them really clean.
- Wash your child's hands. Some babies love to stick their hands down into their diapers during a change. So do wash their hands after changing, just in case.
When cleaning your baby's bottoms, a baby wipe can get the situation clean, but not sterile. Do baby wipes disinfect? No. So to kill off the germs, always opt for soap and water. Moreover, if you need disinfectant wipes, you can do the following to do makeshift wipes using your baby wipes:
What you’ll need:
- 1 pack of baby wipes
- 1 cup 70% isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol
- (Optional) A few drops of essential oil to add a pleasant smell to the wipes, and bring some added cleaning power. A few to consider are tea tree, lemon, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and orange oils.
How to make DIY Disinfectant Wipes:
- Keep your baby wipes in the original packaging, or you can also transfer them to another container. It should be air-tight and made of glass, high-quality plastic, or metal and make sure it’s safe to use with essential oils and alcohol.
- Measure 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol and mix in a few drops of essential oil.
- Pour the mixture over the baby wipes. Give it ample time to seep through and coat the entire pack.
- Store the DIY disinfectant wipes away from children and use them in a well-ventilated room.
Baby wipes are designed to keep your baby's bum clean after pooping. However, if you're asking do baby wipes disinfect, the answer is no. So keep your home clean using antibacterial products. Washing your hands frequently and using proper cleansing wipes can also help you to keep your home clean and free from sickness-causing germs. Remember to ditch the baby wipes for anything other than baby bums and start adopting other habits to make your home clean and healthy.
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