We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Hand Wipes?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated Feb 21, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In many hospitals and doctors' offices, the frequent use of special paper towels saturated in a mild cleansing or antibacterial solution is strongly encouraged. These paper towels are known as hand wipes, and are especially popular whenever working around contagious or infected patients. The hand wipes should kill enough bacteria and remove enough contaminants to prevent transfers between patients and visitors. Hand wipes can also be used to clean a person's hands after handling dirty or unsterilized medical equipment as well.

The use of hand wipes does not entirely replace the need for proper hand washing and decontamination, however. Visitors to a patient's room can use disposable wipes before touching the patient or handling his or her food. After the visit is over, visitors should once again used hand wipes to prevent the spreading of any harmful bacteria or viruses. Medical professionals will also use hand wipes after handling food trays or any waste materials.

Hand wipes are also popular outside of the medical community. Many parents carry waterless wipes in order to cleanse the hands of very young children, especially if a proper washroom is not immediately available. Waterless hand wipes contain a mild detergent solution, chemical fragrance and a fluid with a fast evaporation rate, such as rubbing alcohol or a product containing glycol. Once the package is opened, the solution on the hand wipes immediately begins to evaporate, which means no rinsing is required.

Because these hand wipes can dry out quickly when exposed to air, they are generally packaged in plastic dispensers with airtight lids or in single-use packs lined with a metallic foil. Some hand wipes are designed to allow one sheet to be dispensed as another sheet is drawn up to take its place, much like pop-up facial tissue dispensers.

Diners who order certain greasy or fried entrees such as fried chicken or barbecued ribs may also find individual hand wipes on their plates. These so-called "wet naps" allows diners to remove sticky or greasy residue from their fingers immediately after eating, making a formal trip to the washroom unnecessary. These hand wipes also employ a waterless detergent solution, which leaves a pleasant fragrance on the user's hands as it evaporates.

Certain grocery stores and other retail outlets may also present their customers with disposable hand wipes as they enter the building. These wipes can be used to sanitize the handle and child's seat of a grocery cart, or to clean off any potential contaminants picked up during shopping. Hand wipes can also be found in many classrooms, where communicable diseases and other biological hazards are common. Students and faculty members alike are encouraged to use antibacterial hand wipes after playing with communal toys or visiting the restroom.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By Ruggercat68 — On Oct 22, 2014

I'm practically addicted to antibacterial and disinfectant hand wipes. As soon as I'm in the door of a grocery store, I'm reaching for those disposable hand wipes by the grocery carts. I've seen too many customers sneezing and wheezing while they shop, and I'm not about to touch those carts without wiping them down first.

The same is true whenever I go to church or a doctor's office or a school. I have been known to carry a bottle of hand sanitzer or a travel pack of hand sanitizing wipes in my pocket if there isn't anything available at the location.

Some people tease me about being OCD when it comes to public germs, but I have always been this way. My brother got a really bad staph infection from something he touched at a daycare center, and from then on everyone in my family became obsessed with wiping things down.

By Cageybird — On Oct 22, 2014

About the only time I use disposable hand wipes is after a messy meal, like barbecued ribs with sauce. I'll eventually make it to the restroom for a proper wash, but at least the wipes will help remove most of the offensive grease and sauce. Otherwise, I rarely use the anti-bacterial hand wipes at the grocery store or the doctor's office.

I probably should get in the habit of using disinfectant wipes more often, but I don't feel like I'm coming into that much contact with hazardous germs or viruses during my average day.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.