A hand wiping a laptop with a disinfecting wipe

Bacteria can live on surfaces for hours or up to several days depending on the type. Now, more than ever, facility managers are using sanitizers and disinfectants to either significantly reduce or eliminate surface bacteria. This is a great step towards a healthier facility, but how can you prevent surfaces from becoming contaminated right after disinfecting? The answer lies in residual antimicrobials.

What are residual antimicrobials?

Residual antimicrobials are sanitizers and disinfectants that have been formulated with various materials and compounds to continue killing pathogens on surfaces for up to 24 hours after use. In comparison, classic disinfectants kill pathogens over a period of dwell time, but once the dwell time is complete the disinfected surface becomes open to pathogen contamination. However, the ingredients used in residual antimicrobials create a clear active coating that continues to kill pathogens for up to 24 hours, even with repeated contamination. Learn more about the science behind residual hard surface antimicrobials in this detailed whitepaper from Kimberly-Clark Professional.*

Why use surface antimicrobial wipes?

Wipes are commonly available in two categories – either a disinfectant is added to the wipe, or they are pre-saturated. Wipes – especially pre-saturated wipes – help eliminate the guesswork when it comes to surface disinfecting. With sprays, it’s common to run into errors such as over or under spraying, faulty nozzles, improper dilution of chemicals, not following dwell times or uneven application.

In comparison, pre-saturated wipes are developed with correct chemical dilutions that make it easy for the end user to apply the disinfectant evenly to surfaces. Pre-saturated wipes also help ensure the disinfectant is compatible with the wipe’s material. Studies have shown that wiping material can affect the amount of disinfectant that reaches the surface as they can absorb the disinfectant. For example, one study found that cotton towels could reduce some disinfectant’s strength by up to 85 per cent! With pre-saturated wipes, you can be sure they are formulated to release disinfectants effectively and are the correct material for the disinfectant.

Choosing the right wipe

It’s nearly impossible for cleaning teams to ensure surfaces are disinfected every time someone touches them. Choosing products that will protect surfaces throughout the day is critical to keeping facilities safe and healthy. Residual antimicrobials can help! These microbials kill on contact and also create an active coating that continues to kill pathogens for up to 24 hours, even after multiple touches. To learn more about residual antimicrobials, read this helpful whitepaper from Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Want to know more about adding wipes to your cleaning routine? Talk to one of our product experts today!


* If you require a more accessible version of this guide, please contact us and we’d be happy to help.