Frequently Asked Questions about Wet Wipes

Frequently Asked Questions about Wet Wipes

Wet wipes can last 30 days or upto one year depending on the product

Now you may be thinking of getting yourself some wet wipes, but do you have some questions that would help you make an informed decision? Well in this blog, I will try and answer any questions that you may have, and it will hopefully give you some clarity. It’s good to note that most wipes are made from different materials, so these may not apply directly to all wipes, but here are some commonly asked questions.

What is the shelf life of a wet wipe?

If you are looking for the expiry date, it will usually be found somewhere on the product packaging, but there are also a lot of manufacturers that actually don’t add the expiry date on their wipes. However, those companies would agree that an unopened pack of wet wipes usually has a shelf life of around 2-3 years. There are some brands that only have a one-year shelf life but it’s best to check the product instructions before use. Once the wipes have been opened, some wipes can last 30 days or up to one year until they are no longer effective, but again this depends on the product . With the Vinco-SanWipe range, they come with a 2 year shelf life and once open use within 12 months.

Can you rehydrate wet wipes that have dried out?

Wet wipes will dry out over time, and it’s not recommended that you add water to rehydrate them. This is because the original solution evaporates, so even when you do add water, the wipes will no longer have the same effect they were intended for. The best way to store wet wipes is to keep them at room temperature and away from extreme heat or cold. It’s also advised that you keep them sealed, as if not, this would result in the wipes drying out quicker.

What are the preservatives in wet wipes?

The main reason manufacturers add preservatives to the chemical solution is to prevent antimicrobial growth in the wipe. Doing this in a sanitising wipe, in simple terms, ensures the preservative looks after any microorganisms that may inadvertently be present on the wipe material whilst leaving the active solution in the wipe to kill microorganisms on the surfaces the wipe is designed for. In different types of wipes, such as a cosmetic wipe, then the preservative is again added to prevent growth of any microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi etc within the wipe. A large portion of the chemical will be made up of water and often the material is derived from a plant-based source, making it more susceptible to microbial growth. Adding a preservative ensures that the wipes have an extended protection against contamination and a longer shelf life. Keep in mind that it’s only a small amount of preservative that gets added to the chemical, and this is to prevent any irritation to the skin. Some companies are looking into removing ingredients with irritant potential but it’s a difficult task, as it can affect how well the wipes are preserved. Only very small amounts are used in formulations to ensure it is kept under the safe threshold levels.

What does Hypoallergenic mean?

If a manufacturer claims that their wet wipes are Hypoallergenic, it indicates that the wipes should not cause allergic reactions if they are used correctly. Although a lot of wipe products don’t make that claim, they could still be Hypoallergenic, and they just haven’t been put through specific testing. Also, it’s good to note that even if the product passes testing, some people could still have mild allergic reactions. The best thing to do is to wear disposable gloves whilst using the wipes to avoid any incidents.

What are Dry Wipes?

Dry wipes are disposable absorbent wipes that are used to cleanse and dry. These are used largely in healthcare environments such as care homes, nurseries, and places where its important to maintain good hygiene standards. These wipes have no chemical solution added to them and they are usually made from materials such as cotton and polypropylene. The wipes are gentle on the skin and are great for messy situations. Water or a gentle soap solution is usually added to a bowl which the dry wipes are then dipped in and used to cleanse patients or wipe down surfaces.

Is it safe for my pet to walk or lick the floor after using wet wipes?

A surface or floor once cleaned with a wet wipe shouldn’t cause any harm to pets, but it is recommended that you allow the cleaned area to fully dry before allowing your pet to walk on it. This is because the PH levels of a dog or a cat are different from humans, which could make the chemical solution unsafe because it may cause irritation and itching. Ideally, you can also rinse the floors with water after cleaning to minimize the risk of irritation.

What’s better, flushable wipes or toilet paper?

If you were to put toilet paper and flushable wipes to the test, from a hygiene perspective the flushable wipes would win. Toilet paper has traditionally been used in bathrooms mainly because of its ability to break down in sewers, but there are a lot more benefits to using flushable wipes instead of regular toilet paper. For instance, flushable wipes are stronger and thus clean more efficiently and thoroughly. They’re also made from softer material that’s gentler on the skin, and they are specifically made to be flushed down the drains after use. Flushable wipes are more expensive than toilet paper but because of the durable material, you would need fewer wipes to get the job done! Always good to read the manufacturer’s guidelines on the packet before use.

Why are wet wipes popular?

Wet wipes have been around since the late 1950’s but they became a popular household supply around the mid-2000s. Wet wipes are great for removing dirt and grime from surfaces and are used to clean and disinfect your hands. They are cheap to manufacture, can be widely available in different sizes and they can be useful in places where water is limited. Wet wipes can be made from different materials and a wide range of solutions can be added to them, making them ideal in almost any situation. Although there are plans in place to reduce the number of wet wipes being manufactured with single-use plastics, the global wet wipe market is expected to reach around 4.64 billion by the end of 2023! Its expected that much of this will transition over to more sustainable raw material components over time.

What’s the difference between Anti-Bacterial & Anti-Viral?

We all know how important it is to keep safe and stop the spread of viruses and bacteria. And although there are products out there that are specifically designed to fight against these, some products can turn out to be misleading. Anti-bacterial wipes are mainly used to kill off bacteria from any surface. And although they are effective, they won’t actually protect you from any viruses. This is because bacteria and viruses are two different micro-organisms, or germs, and to kill them off requires different active ingredients in the wipes. EN1276 standard relates to an anti-bacterial wipe. Anti-viral wipes on the other hand are specially designed to kill off any viruses such as the coronavirus (Covid 19) and the standard these normally conform to is EN14476. More on the standards later... When buying wipes, it’s important to select a product that states it “kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses” as these products will be effective in slowing down the reproduction of a virus if used properly. It’s best to read the product instructions before use.

What are BS EN1276 and BS EN14476 Standards?

EN standards are certifications awarded to products that pass certain European standards. In a lot of cases, some standards are double prefixed BS EN which means that these are UK versions of a European harmonised standard. For instance, BS EN 1276 is used to prevent the growth and spread of harmful bacteria, whilst BS EN 14476 certification means that the product contains ingredients which are required to kill viruses including Norovirus, influenza A, and Adenovirus. The Covid-19 Virus has been tested against BS EN14476 standard formulations and testing has proved that products of this standard are effective against Coronavirus. These standards are in place to make sure that the product you have does the job it was designed to do, whilst also keeping you and everyone else safe from harmful bacteria and viruses.

What happens if my wipes start to turn yellow?

If you have an opened pack of wipes at home that hasn’t been used in a while, you might notice that the edges of the wipes will start to turn yellow. But don’t worry, this isn’t mould! This is simply because the air comes in contact with the chemical solution, which then causes slight discoloration to the wipes after a while. These are still safe to use as long as the product is in date, which you can find that out on the product packaging. However, yellowing of the wipes will probably mean that the wipes are also drying out which, as mentioned before, will become less effective so you may wish to discard and purchase wipes with a sealable container to prevent this from reoccurring. Just make sure to store your wipes in a cool dry place so that they last longer.

What can you do if you have a question that’s not listed here?

If you have a question about our products that you can’t find an answer to, you can always contact us at or call us on 01738 629839. Our friendly team can answer any questions you may have, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

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