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How to make your own disinfecting wipes

How to make your own disinfecting wipes using Multi-Clean 128 E-Fecticide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a severe shortage of disinfecting wipes.  The inability to get disinfecting wipes comes at a time when they are needed more than ever!  Many organizations have resorted to making their own wipes using disinfectant solutions they may be already using for other purposes.

This is a slippery slope and one must be aware that things may not be as they seem.  Read on to learn how to be successful in making your own disinfecting wipe.  You may find it saves money too!

It is NOT as easy as you might think!

Since you may already use a disinfectant in spray bottles or buckets, making your own wipes seems simple.  You may think it is as easy as buying a roll of dry wipe material in an appropriate container, then add your disinfectant, and viola!  You have made your own disinfectant wipe, RIGHT?

Answer:  WRONG!

What are the possible issues with making your own wipes?

Limited Shelf Stability:  If you are using a concentrate and diluting with tap water, disinfectants have a limited life even when placed in sealed containers.  Bleach based disinfectants may have a shelf life of 1 day once diluted.  Other products vary from 7 to 30 days.

Solution Binding:  Wipe materials can be made from natural fibers like cellulose or synthetics like polyester or polypropylene.  Many wipe materials contain varying blends of these materials.  The actual wipe materials can actually bond with some disinfectant active ingredients rendering a portion or all of the active ingredient incapable of doing their “germ killing” function.  If this binding phenomenon occurs, you may not be disinfecting at ALL!

MOLD Growth:  If you do not properly wet the wiper material and/or you have solution binding, it may cause the wipe material to grow mold on the sides or top of the wipe roll.

Learn what the wet wipes makers know!

If you want to make your own wipes successfully, you need to understand what the manufacturers of wet wipes already know.

  1. Know your substrate.  Some wipe materials are less prone to solution binding than others.  In general, higher levels of synthetic material construction are less prone to solution binding.
  2. The Disinfectant Formula and needed strength: Accounting for solution binding necessitates using a higher level of active ingredient.  Trying to figure this out on your own is impractical.

WARNING:  When disinfecting wipes with a valid EPA registration number become more widely available, we recommend using these in place of making your own wipes.  The manufacturers of these wipes insure that none of the pitfalls of making your own wipes will occur.

Making your own wipes

If you decide on making your own wipes until disinfecting wipes become more available, here are some guidelines using Multi-Clean 128 E-Fecticide Disinfectant Cleaner, using a dilution ratio of 1:32 (4 oz per gallon of water).

  1. Prepare your solution: Use a separate container and accurately measure the amount of concentrate to be mixed with water. You will need to double or triple the dilution strength of your disinfectant if the EPA registered product label allows it.  If the product label does not specify stronger dilutions, you should not use the disinfectant.
  2. Load the wipes with disinfectant solution. Place wipe roll in canister or bucket, begin pouring solution in a circular pattern starting on the out edge of the roll working your way to the center.  Continue to do this until all the solution has been added.

APPROXIMATE Loading Rates:  the theoretical loading rate for wipes is an amount equal or greater than 3.5 times the weight of the dry roll.   Use guidelines below to help you out:

160 count wipes, 6×7 in.  Use 20-28 oz of properly diluted solution.

300 count wipe, 6×7 in.  Use 80-96 oz of properly diluted solution.

  1. Test Your Wipe When you prepare your own disinfecting wipes test the strength of the solution after 8-24 hours to determine if the product is suitable for use.   For the wipes in this example, the reading using the quat test paper should be >1000 ppm.
  2. Know your shelf life: Diluted disinfectant solutions have a limited shelf life, this information can usually be found on the label.  In our example, the 128 E-Fecticide has a 14 day shelf life for the diluted product.

Using Test Strips:  A simple way to do this is to use a test strip.  There are test strips for bleach (chlorine), hydrogen peroxide, and QUAT (quaternary ammonium chloride).  Simply squeeze some solution from the wipe roll and place the strip in the solution and match the color of the strip to the color code on the container. Measurements will be in ppm (parts per million).

QUAT Test Strips:  For testing QUAT based disinfectants.

Chlorine Test Strips:  For  testing  bleach  based  solutions.

Peroxide Test Strips:  For testing hydrogen peroxide based products.

REMEMBER:  Apply a proper secondary label to each container of wipes.

Multi-Clean 128 E-Fecticide is a concentrated, hospital grade disinfectant-cleaner.  It is effective on a broad range of bacterial and viral pathogens.  It is on the EPA approved List N for disinfectants (under EPA Reg #6836-365) for use against the human Corona Virus that causes COVID-19.

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