Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Review: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

A few weeks ago, after being hospitalized with an infection of MRSA, the infectious disease doctor told me that everything I used needed to be single use and to wipe all surfaces that I touched with disinfecting wipes. Protecting my children was the reason for these precautions. Perhaps we are going overboard, he offered, but it is the little ones, you see. The other discharge orders revolved around hand washing and at what temperatures to wash the towels and linens I used. (If you want to know more, the link above is pretty good at explaining MRSA. I had the community acquired variety. How I got it is still under debate.)

As daunting as it is to realize that my level of disinfecting guarded my children from this infection, I followed the directions. I purchased, on my own, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for multiple reasons:
  1. Trusted name in disinfection products.
  2. Single use wipes in canisters that I could put in the kitchen and in the bathrooms.
  3. Scents that did not make me cringe.
What I purchased were the scents lemon and fresh scent, a lite floral. Mom Central offered me a canister of lavender scent for review. Because I needed more wipes for the family room, I took them up on the offer. The lavender scent is very nice.

While I like the idea of the Green Works products from Clorox, at least the surface cleaner is not disinfecting. I couldn't rely on that product when the health of my children was concerned. I wiped the refrigerator handles, the cabinet handles, toys, everything I touched at any moment. I knew that one of the bacteria killed by the Clorox Wipes was my dreaded, pain-inducing enemy Staphylococcus aureus.

These canisters will remain in my house. I've found another use--keeping my husband's summer cold (because it is really summer here in New Orleans) from infecting the rest of us. The wipes do really well cleaning the computer keys and mouse after he's put his virus-laden fingers on them. I've got into a habit of wiping the phones, too.

I cannot tell you how difficult it is for me to be so persnickety about disinfection. I'm completely biased for the hygiene hypothesis. I want it to be true, that all this crazy cleaning, wash-your-hands, OMG-don't-touch-that attitudes aren't that great for us. What isn't difficult is pulling out a Clorox wipe, cleaning, and enjoying the lite scent that doesn't linger.

I am, however, allowing the dog hair to float unheeded along the floors. ;-)


jmb said...

Well I don't know what these cost and they do smell nice but we used isopropyl alcohol on everything in the hospital in pharmacy, including our sterile preparation room. In spray bottles with single use lint free clothes. I would not be sure that these Clorox things are really good enough myself.

It probably isn't really necessary anyway but if it makes you feel better then do it. Hand washing is good and those hand liquids you buy at the drugstore are good to have in the car and your handbag. All the hospitals here (and no doubt there) have the dispensers for visitors and staff entering and leaving the wards. Remember to use your knuckles and not fingertips on elevator buttons and don't use handrails. It's a pain but worth it.

Glad to hear you are doing better.

And you have to keep alcohol up high from little hands so maybe not.

Sarabeth said...

Oh, JMB, I've done the isopropyl alcohol on my lab bench for years to make sure I didn't leave behind any bacteria and denatured any DNA. I could probably return to that as I am now over most of the aversions I acquired during my time in the lab--eggs, alcohol as a cleanser, and certain smells.

These aren't expensive, especially when bought in the larger canisters. Plus, we use the empty canisters for toy holders and crayon caches.

Thanks for reminding me of the alcohol, though.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is such a conundrum for me, because I love these things but don't want to produce more garbage. I'm just not sure the bleach solution in a bucket with wipes does the same thing as wipes like these... argh. There's no doubt they work beautifully, though, as do the Kirkland Brand three packs you can get at Costco (which I suspect may be made by Chlorox).

The Preemie Experiment said...

Ok, I'm clearly not a doctor but wanted to add that I'm pretty sure those wipes do NOT have bleach in them. During a recent discussion with one of Paige's docs, he had told us to sanitize the entire house, quite often, because Paige has open sores (due to OCD-skin picking).I mentioned that we wipe everything down with Clorox wipes. He told me that they aren't good enough and suggested bleach.

On a side note, for the surfaces that Paige does not have contact with, I am a faithful Clorox wipe user! I have been using them for a few years.

Sarabeth said...

You're right. These don't contain bleach, but the chemicals in the wipes do kill certain types of viruses and bacteria, which was good enough, and probably is good enough for most people.

So, yes, a dilute bleach solution will kill nearly everything, but is not safe for some surfaces. We all know what happens if you spill it on your clothes. Let's also add the aroma of bleach.

I'm super sensitive to bleach smell, so I prefer the wipes.

The Preemie Experiment said...

I agree with you. I like the wipes better too. I guess I'm just over worried with Paige having all of those open sores. Ahhh, the neurotic worry of a parent never ends, does it? lol

I'm glad you are feeling better. I was shocked when I read that it was MRSA. So very scary.

Sarabeth said...

Yep, Stacy, it never ends, and I would do what you do if my kids had open sores. Our eldest does a bit of that, so we cut her nails shorter after my hospitalization.

What worried Phill was the proximity of the abscess to my brain. Both the ENT and the ID service decided to put me on the "only used in extreme cases" type of antibiotic because of that. There were serious nerves around here.

dragon knitter said...

i'm a firm believer in the hygiene hypothesis as well. While I'm clean, i'm not fanatical about it. I've always ssaid a little dirt never hurt a nybody. for goodness sake, i grew up on a farm. do you know how hard it is to keep things completely spotless in that kind of environment?

and i'm happy to know that my herd helped keep their allergies down (i have 4 kids). only my younger daughter has allergies, and hers may be partly because she has underdeveloped sinuses (she's 22, so myinsurance won't cover her, or i'd haveher do more intensive stuff to help the issue. alas, she's on her own for that)

Elle said...

I like the Clorox wipes too -- took them up when Max was a baby - have to try the lavender. Glad to see you back from the brink.