The Dangers of Using Clorox Wipes

It is not far-fetched to say that germs have spread to just about every corner, on every street, on every seat, door and person. They are everywhere whether you realize it or not. Sometimes they don’t bother us; other times they do and sickness soon follows after. To cut down on the sickness causing bacteria, Clorox wipes—or rather, disinfectant wipes in general—were designed to cut down 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. Pretty good deal, right?

Unfortunately, Clorox wipes isn’t a product you should be using liberally. In fact, you should use them sparingly. The wipes have some pretty harsh chemicals that are great for killing germs and such, but not exactly the kind of chemicals you want constantly floating in the air you breathe. It’s time we discuss the dangers of using Clorox wipes.

The Dangers of Clorox Wipes and When to Use Them

People are constantly making the same mistake when using Clorox wipes. Time and time again you’ll see—and you’ve probably done this too—someone wipe a counter, throw the Clorox wipe away and that’s the end of it. You’re probably thinking, “What’s the problem?” And there is where the problem begins.

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First off, you’re supposed to use enough wipes that the surface stays wet for the next four to 10 minutes. But that’s not all! Once the surface has dried, you then need to rinse the surface with water. This is so that the next time you use the counter, and you’re preparing food, chemicals from the Clorox wipes aren’t then transferred to the food. Ingesting Clorox solution, full of chemicals, is like drinking poison; that’s not what it’s for. Not to mention you’d be spreading the chemicals to everyone who eats it.

Then there’s the touching. If you leave behind a disinfected surface without rinsing it with water, anyone who touches the counter or table afterwards is exposed to harsh chemicals on their delicate skin. They’ll touch their eyes, face, maybe even grab food and eat it. And let’s not forget that people don’t wash their hands after using the wipes. You may have been guilty of that, too.

So, when should you use Clorox wipes? Go right ahead after you’ve used the counter to prepare raw meat, you were dealing with blood, bodily fluids, or when someone has been suffering from a contagious illness. This will help mitigate the spread of the illness. Just remember to rinse the surface off afterwards.

You never want to overuse Clorox wipes and make it a part of your cleaning regiment. What ends up happening is that some germs become superbugs. These bad boys of the neighborhood build an immunity to disinfectants and go on to make people sick whether you want them to or not. To make matters worse, the chemicals float about the air and people breathe it in. Individuals with respiratory issues aren’t going to be too thrilled when the chemicals make their issues worse. When you’ve cleaned and rinsed the surface, always open a few windows to ventilate the area.

What You Shouldn’t Do With Clorox Wipes

The dangers of Clorox wipes extend far beyond polluting the air or creating superbugs (as a result of improper use). You also have to consider the surface you’re using it on. Sure, they can be used on multiple surfaces, but you always have to read the fine print.

1. On Yourself

By no means should you be using Clorox wipes on yourself, especially your face. Clorox wipes have harsh chemicals that are meant to break down the cell walls of germs. Your delicate, soft hands and face is no place for harsh chemicals. In fact, you should always wear gloves and eye protection. There’s always a chance you’ll fling the chemical solution into your eyes.

Furthermore, the chemicals may cause irritation on the skin or an allergic reaction. Who knows!

2. On a Surface That Isn’t Listed

Here’s a tip: don’t use Clorox wipes on surfaces that aren’t listed. Just because it says “multi-surface” does not mean all surfaces. For example, don’t use them on untreated wood. You’ll sooner stain the wood; that isn’t ideal.

Leather is another great example you shouldn’t use Clorox wipes on. Leather surfaces, like that of seats in a car, have been treated with oils. That’s how leather has the shine it does. But you want a quick way to dry out leather and make it brittle? Use alcohol. It just so happens that Clorox wipes have alcohol. Don’t do it.

Lastly, fabrics in general are a no-go. Don’t use them on clothing, couches or chairs. Again, the alcohol can stain or fade the fabric. How would you like to have a big discolored spot on your clothes or a perfectly good couch?

3. Don’t Sanitize Dishes With Clorox Wipes

This one should be a no-brainer, but just in case you weren’t aware: never use Clorox wipes to sanitize dishes. Those chemicals stick around, then get transferred to food, which then goes into someone’s mouth. They’ve ingested poisonous chemicals. Who knows what kind of health problems will follow soon after.

4. Don’t Use the Same Wipe on Multiple Surfaces

When you use a single wipe on a surface—that’s it. You’ve spent the disinfecting solution on that single surface. That means you shouldn’t take the same wipe and clean another surface with it. All you’re doing is spreading germs and quite possibly creating a superbug in the process.

5. Avoid Using in School Environments

As an adult, you can resist the urge to touch your face after you just got done handling a Clorox wipe (you should be wearing gloves). Children, on the other hand, don’t have that kind of acute awareness. Once you’ve wiped down a table, and a child touches it, their hands are going to be everywhere and in everything—their eyes, most likely. Is it going to burn? Absolutely. Will they have to be taken to a hospital. Definitely. Their system will need to be flushed out.

Do yourself a favor and stick to soap, hot water, and baby wipes. They do a fine job of reducing the spread of germs, and it helps they smell good.

How to Prevent Problems with Clorox Wipes!

If you like to use different products to keep your home clean, you should know the best products and substances you can use to clean different things around your home. Clorox can come with some dangers which is why it’s important that you know what you’re doing when using it. Cleaning is a huge part of every home and it’s a form of home improvement, but there are many more.

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Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Clorox wipes is still a great product. It does an excellent job at disinfecting areas that come in contact with juices from raw meat, illness, blood, and bodily fluids. However, it’s only when Clorox wipes are used properly and sparingly that its magic works as intended. Overuse leads to polluted air and superbugs.

And believe it or not, having an entire house that’s disinfected down to the floorboards isn’t even a good idea to begin with. It sounds good on paper, but in practice, your body’s immune system is missing out on practice if the hygiene hypothesis is anything to go off of. Not that you should completely ignore cleanliness, quite the contrary—you just don’t have to disinfect every time someone gets icing on the counter or when juice is spilled on the table. Use it every so often when surfaces come into contact with contagious hosts or food.