Science Says: Keep This Cleaning Product On Hand for Sick Days

updated May 3, 2019
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Are you more of a cleaning wipes person, or are you more of a cleaning spray person? If you prefer the spritz-and-wipe method over ready-to-use cleaning-solution-soaked wipes, you might not like what you’re about to read: a recent study found that wipes are actually more effective at killing bacteria than sprays are.

The study, from the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, examined how three different cleaning solutions (each in spray and wipe form) performed at getting rid of Clostridium difficile (also known as C. diff, a potentially deadly bacteria that causes inflammation of the colon) from tiles that had been contaminated with the bacteria.

The results? With all three cleaning solutions, the wipes outperformed the sprays—even when they had the exact same active ingredients. The study found that, on average, the wipes had a slightly higher RLU (relative light units, which is a way of measuring cleanliness) reduction than the sprays did.

It’s worth noting that the cleaning wipes that were found to be most effective were sporicidal wipes with hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient—they showed the highest bactericidal activity, according to the study.

Of course, just because wipes are a little more effective at killing bacteria doesn’t mean you have to change your entire cleaning routine. This study was created with hospitals and healthcare facilities in mind, so it’s not likely that you need to disinfect your home in the same way very often at all.

And don’t despair if you’re committed to green cleaning—ready-to-use cleaning wipes may not be exactly the most environmentally friendly product you can use, so wipes don’t have to be a part of your every day routine if you don’t want them to be. However, based on this study it seems like they are good to have on hand if someone in your home gets sick.