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How Do You Use Universal Wipes?

How Do You Use Universal Wipes?

Universal wipes are used in healthcare facilities, care homes, and other environments where infection transmission needs to be controlled and kept to a minimum. Made for use on non-porous surfaces and non-invasive medical devices, universal wipes are pre-dosed with a disinfectant solution to make cleaning procedures more thorough and efficient. 

Find out the best way to use these infection control disposables to keep your environment clean and sanitised in this article

Before Using Universal Wipes

Before using universal wipes, remember to put on personal protective equipment if you need to. Most good quality universal wipes, like PDI Sani-Cloth AF Universal Wipes, aren’t irritating or corrosive in any way, but if you’re cleaning potentially infectious areas, it’s essential to protect yourself. 

As with all cleaning products, repeated contact with universal cleaning wipes could result in skin irritation, so it’s wise to wear disposable gloves while cleaning if you can.

Check the use-by date on the product packaging to make sure the wipes are still in date.

Each wipe storage container has a dispenser built-in that makes grabbing a wipe with one hand easier while protecting the remaining unused wipes. Make sure you start with clean hands when feeding the first wipe through the dispenser. If you notice that the next available wipe is visibly soiled before use, remove and discard it.


  1. Remove the lid and peel off the seal.
  2. Pull the wipe out of the centre of the roll and twist one corner into a point.
  3. Push the corner up through the bottom of the dispenser in the lid and pull it out of the other side.
  4. Secure the lid back on the top of the canister.

Watch this video to see how these steps are done:

Easy Flow Packet

  1. Open the plastic dispenser on the front of the packet and remove the film seal.
  2. Ensure the next available wipe is completely tucked into the packet before resealing.


  1. Remove the plastic seal from the edge of the bucket lid.
  2. Remove the lid of the bucket.
  3. Find the wipe in the roll centre and twist the corner into a point.
  4. Feed the corner through the bottom of the dispenser in the lid.
  5. Reattach the lid of the bucket.

Watch this video to see how to do this and how to use a refill in a bucket dispenser:

PDI Universal Wipes Steps

When extracting a wipe from the easy flow packet, pull directly upwards at a 90° angle. Otherwise, if you are using the canister or bucket, pull the wipe at a 45° angle. Ensure the lid has snapped closed to keep the rest of the wipes moist.

PDI Universal Wipes Steps

Universal Wipe ‘S’ Technique

When extracting a wipe from the easy flow packet, pull directly upwards at a 90° angle. Otherwise, if you are using the canister or bucket, pull the wipe at a 45° angle. Ensure the lid has snapped closed to keep the rest of the wipes moist.

Universal disinfecting wipes are made for 2-step cleaning and disinfecting, but it might be necessary to mop up extra liquid or sweep up debris before using them to ensure a thorough disinfection job. 

Employ the ‘s’ technique when using a universal wipe to ensure you always move from dirty to clean areas and don’t go over the same spot twice.

PDI Universal Wipes Steps

Take a look at this training video on how PDI disposable wipes should be used to clean surfaces and non-invasive medical devices. The technique is the same despite the product being Super Sani-Cloth® Disinfecting Wipes.

How many wipes do you need to use?

The wipes cannot be reused and should only be used once, immediately when extracted from the canister. Once out of the canister, a wipe should be used straight away to ensure full use of the disinfectant solution before it begins to evaporate.

PDI recommends that one universal wipe can be used to clean 1m squared of surface area. However, this depends on the contact time the solution needs to work. Provided the surface stays wet for the advised contact time, no more wipes are required. 

However, factors like heat, air conditioning, wind, and light can make surfaces dry faster. If the surface dries before the contact time is completed, you must go over it again with more wipes. Use as many wipes are you need for the surface to be wet with the solution for the entirety of the contact time.

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Safe Storage of Universal Wipes

To follow best hygiene practices, it’s a good idea to look for a universal wipes product with a protective wrapper that will keep your unused wipes clean and protected from exposure to germs.

PDI’s universal wipes come in an easy flow packet, a bucket, or a canister; each has a feed with snap-close technology that keeps the remaining wipes fresh and moist in an airtight container. Because of the way the dispenser is designed, the unused wipes are protected from contamination. 

The canister is made with a deep well in the lid where the next available wipe can be stored, and the lid closed completely.

The canister should be stored in a dry, cool place away from sunlight and kept upright to avoid the risk of leaking if the lid is not closed correctly. Dispose of the canister carefully and do not reuse it as the residual disinfectant solution will be inside. Wipes should be disposed of in a clinical hazardous waste bag.

Find out more about universal wipes in our blog.

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