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Are Universal Wipes Antibacterial?

Are Universal Wipes Antibacterial?

When it comes to cleaning products, we hear many terms being thrown around. ‘Detergent’, ‘disinfectant’, ‘sanitiser’, ‘antibacterial’—they all have subtly different meanings. When looking for a good cleaning product that will cut through the cycle of infection, you might find yourself using these terms in your search. 

Universal wipes are an excellent, multipurpose type of cleaning product. So are they antibacterial? Let’s take a look.

If you’re just discovering universal wipes and want to know more about where you can use them, take a look at the articles in our blog. 

What does ‘antibacterial’ mean?

The term ‘antibacterial’ is defined as an action, process, or agent that destroys bacteria and acts as a suppressant, slowing or stopping their reproduction ability.

Many cleaning products contact chemicals with antibacterial properties that destroy bacteria cells. Similarly, some processes can be considered antibacterial. For example, treating something with heat will kill bacteria cells.

How do universal wipes destroy bacteria?

When it comes to antibacterial chemicals, it’s all about breaking down the cell membrane to kill the cell effectively. Once a cell’s protective membrane is compromised, the cell loses its’ structure, and the key components (the ‘organs’ if you compare a cell to a body) cannot survive and dissolve.

Universal wipes generally contain one of two active ingredients: alcohol or quaternary ammonium.

How Alcohol-Based Antibacterial Agents Work

The process by which alcohol destroys a bacteria cell is called denaturation. Alcohol molecules are amphipathic, meaning they have fat-soluble lipophilic and water-soluble hydrophilic properties. Bacteria cell membranes are made up of a fat-based and water-based side which means that alcohol molecules can bond to both and break down the walls of the cell.

How Quaternary Ammonium-Based Antibacterial Agents Work

Quats also kill bacteria cells by the process of denaturation. Quat compounds are cationic ions meaning they are positively charged. When quats bond with the negatively charged outer membranes of bacteria cells, they break the cell walls down, causing the vital components inside to stop functioning, leak out, and dissolve.

These antibacterial properties make universal wipes excellent tools for cleaning and disinfecting non-porous surfaces, allowing the solution to come into contact with bacteria present, killing the cells in a matter of seconds. 

That said, universal wipes are not corrosive to materials like metal, plastic, rubber, or skin, which means they can be used in a variety of settings. Find out about how safe universal wipes are and whether they can be used to clean skin.

Antibacterial PDI Sani-Cloth® AF Universal Wipes

PDI Universal Wipes are antibacterial disinfectant wipes pre-dosed with a quaternary ammonium solution. They have a broad spectrum, fast contact kill capability and can break down a range of common bacteria. 

PDI Universal Wipes have been tested using the EN 16615 4 and EN 13727 testing methods to be effective against the following:

Type of Bacteria

Contact Time

Enterococcus hirae

60 seconds

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

60 seconds

Staphylococcus aureus

60 seconds

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

30 seconds

Staphylococcus aureus

30 seconds

Enterococcus hirae

30 seconds

The wipes are also effective against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses (coronavirus strains include the strain that causes Covid-19), TB, and types of fungi. Consult the PDI Universal Wipes information leaflet for full details.

Please enter your details into the form below along with any questions or comments and a member of our team will be happy to provide you with more information:


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