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Your Home Environment Resource - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Household Hints & HELP!

Cleaning Wipes

submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appears in the April 11, 2004 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.

Spring is in the air and so is the idea of cleaning. Many times the question is “What should I use to clean a certain item or area?”

The cleaning wipes category is soaring! In fact, 110 different kinds of wipes were introduced in 2001. Consumers enjoy the convenience of wipes because they’re great for quick clean-ups. But how do you choose the right wipe for your cleaning needs? Let’s take a look at the different types and what they do...

Kitchens and Bathrooms

  • Wipes with dishwashing liquid — for hand dishwashing. They lather up once water is added.
  • Heat-activated wipes — for cleaning baked-on foods in microwaves. As you heat the towelette pouch in the microwave, special cleaners are released that soften and loosen baked-on food residue. Allow the pouch to cool. Then, use the warm towelette to wipe the interior clean.
  • Disinfecting wipes — for cleaning hard surfaces, such as countertops, sinks, windows and toilets. These wipes are a convenient way to clean commonly-touched surfaces at home (refrigerator and faucet handles, light switch covers, door handles, telephone receivers) and at work (water fountain handles, microwave door handles, computer keyboards).
  • Flushable bathroom wipes — for cleaning around toilet rims, tanks, faucets, sinks and basins. They disperse in water when agitated, like toilet paper—thus, they’re safe for plumbing and septic tanks.

Furniture and Flooring

Some wipes are pre-moistened with special cleaning solutions for cleaning and shining furniture. For those who prefer the cloth-and-polish method, these wipes are available with cleansing conditioners that enhance product performance.

A rinse-free way to remove dirt from floors is to use special all-in-one mopping units. They use moist, disposable, electrostatic cloths that contain a cleaning solution. The solution dissolves soil, while the disposable pad absorbs the solution. These units can be used to clean vinyl, ceramic tile, laminate, linoleum and finished wood floors.

Other wipes are dry for capturing dust and dirt. These include:

  • Mitts — for general cleaning and dusting surfaces, such as tabletops, television screens, picture frames and knickknacks.
  • Dry, electrostatic wipes — disposable cloths that attract soil without leaving any residue. They’re perfect for cleaning wood laminate, tile and linoleum floors—as well as wood, vinyl, ceramic, electronic and other hard surfaces—because dust is captured and disposed of along with the cloth.

Always follow the label directions for these products.

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