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Cleaning sprays versus wipes – Knowing what you need to be using

Antibacterial wipes, or antibacterial spray?

It’s an ongoing debate at a time when keeping germs at bay is so essential. The fact is, both can offer a lot in terms of germ killing ability, and both can offer uses the other can’t. It’s important to be aware which is best for the task in hand as their efficacy can be affected depending on their use.

For example, in a high infection risk area such as a hospital, wipes are often used over sprays as they help to eliminate cross-contamination. Read our blog on what types of wipes are used in hospitals here.

Users often purchase disinfectant spray for it’s antibacterial properties, but does disinfectant kill bacteria? A disinfectant cleaning agent is designed to destabilise or kill microorganisms such as bacteria, but they are only effective if used correctly.

Users will often spray a disinfectant on a surface and wipe it over with a cloth or rag, often drying it off almost immediately. However, what kills bacteria on surfaces is the cleaning agent being in contact with the surface for a certain period of time – often 5-10 minutes – in order to be effective, so wiping it off the surface quickly greatly increases the chance of bacteria and germs surviving on the surface.

Uniwipe clinical wipe cleaning bannister

What’s the difference between cleaning sprays and disinfecting wipes? 

The main and obvious difference between sprays and wipes is the fact that for sprays, you are dependent on another medium to evenly distribute the cleaning agent over the surface, whereas wipes are already impregnated with cleaning agent. This may seem a trivial point – all you need is a cloth or a rag – but it can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the products.

So if sprays are often ineffective, do disinfecting wipes work? Of course they do, but as always, there’s a caveat – they still have to be used in the correct manner.

For example, wipes are designed for single-use applications so they should be discarded once used – this removes the danger of cross-contamination as germs and bacteria can’t transfer from one surface to the next. When using cloths with sprays, germs can remain on the cloth for long periods of time, so can transfer from a contaminated surface and spread infection.

What’s more, our range of antibacterial wipes are designed to evenly distribute the cleaning agent onto a surface, ensuring a sufficient coverage for killing germs and bacteria. If cloths and sprays are used, it can result in uneven coverage and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the product.

Generally speaking, wipes are the best option when it comes to cleaning in high infection risk areas, or anywhere you want to be sure to kill bacteria and/or viruses. The truth is, professional grade antibacterial and virucidal wipes are the best way to combat germs on surfaces, though sprays can be used in areas where the risk of cross-contamination or infection is low. Sprays can also be an efficient way to clean larger areas as more chemical can be applied without using more cloths.

For more concentrated areas, wipes are great for even and accurate coverage, and they avoid over-spraying so are perfect for restaurants where you want to clean the table but not spray the customer…

Antibacterial wipes cleaning office desk

Is using sprays and wipes the best of both worlds?

In summary, both sprays and wipes have their uses and are beneficial in certain areas. For best results follow the directions on the packaging, as this will indicate the most effective way to use the product.

You may be wondering if using sprays and wipes together is the best way to be sure to get the job done. In actual fact, this isn’t a good idea – these cleaning chemicals are made from very complex compounds which are specifically designed to work together. If these are mixed, it may cause the compounds to break down or change, so their effectiveness is not guaranteed.

You can find out more information about where antibacterial wipes can be used in our blog here


View Uniwipe's range of antibacterial wipes


You may be using antibacterial wipes wrong – read our article on the common mistakes you may be making when using antibacterial wipes.
In this article, we look at some of the common mistakes users tend to make with buying, storing and using wipes, and how to avoid these pitfalls yourself. We’ll cover some top tips on popular types of wipes so you can make informed decisions, and storage & usage techniques to get maximum value and effectiveness from your cleaning routine.


See our range of wipes for office and workplace hygiene – keep your premises open and your staff safe by future-proofing your cleaning strategy.

With an effective daily cleaning strategy and effective cleaning products you can limit the spread of germs and bacteria and achieve a safer working environment.


Watch our video highlighting the Uniwipe range and the processes involved in creating the ultimate range of wipes. From manufacturing and distribution to advice and customer service, our in-house production facilities mean we can offer the very best in service and quality.

With vast experience in dealing with all manner of order requests from bulk and bespoke, multiple worldwide delivery locations or phased deliveries, once the team understands your requirements any number of solutions can be arranged.
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Your questions

All the Uniwipe wipes can be used for wiping tables, work surfaces and machinery in food areas, which should be rinsed prior to direct contact with food.

We also have the Catering Midi-Wipes which are specially developed for use in the catering & hospitality sector and are food area approved.

When cleaning high traffic areas to avoid cross contamination, we recommend that you dispose of each wipe properly after using on a surface. This way you can be sure no germs are being transferred from one surface to another.

Uniwipe products are specifically formulated to be safe on a wide range of surfaces such as hard surfaces, leather and upholstery. As they are alcohol free, they are also safe to use on technology equipment, subject to manufacturers guidelines.

Whilst some wipes are specifically designed for use on certain surfaces, the Uniwipe range of products is suitable for use on all hard surfaces for cleaning and disinfecting.

Whether you’re a distributor looking to resell our products, a large corporation looking to partner with a reputable manufacturer, or are just looking to buy a pack for yourself, we’re here to make it as easy as possible to get your hands on quality wipe solutions.

Visit our How to Buy page to get quality wipes, fast.

Uniwipe products are dermatologically tested, so are certified safe on skin. We also have the Hand & Surface wipe specifically designed and tested for use on hands. If you are prone to irritation from similar products, we recommend you wear gloves whilst using them.