Scientifically Tested: UVC vs Wet Wipes


As part of our ongoing process to discover the best ways to develop our product range and understand how to tackle the spread of diseases and viruses, we are continually carrying out a number of experiments. One recent experiment was to examine the efficacy of wipes vs. UVC on handheld devices, in this case, they were a type of gas detection device used by a major UK company (we have been asked to keep any names confidential). We were genuinely taken aback by the results. 


There has been an enormous increase in concern around the safety and potential to spread bacteria and viruses in a variety of circumstances since the world was introduced to the Coronavirus, unsurprisingly, one of the major focal points is anything that we ourselves touch routinely on a day to day basis, scanners, sensors, tablets, stationary are obvious candidates. The solution up until now has invariably been to use wet wipes. They are relatively cheap, readily available and can be used by anyone with little or no training making them the obvious choice, but do they actually work?

We already knew (by reading the labels) that disinfectant spray and wipes only achieve advertised efficacy if the item being cleaned remains wet for 5 minutes. I’m certain I won’t be the only one to have been surprised by that, but yes, that is true. Please see below for shots of Dettol spray and wipes. 

What we didn’t know is how effective wipes actually are under ‘normal’ use. After some discussion we decided that there is only one way to find out and we began planning the experiment. 

The Experiment

Our test subjects were 10 handheld devices of varying condition. To begin the experiment all of the devices were tested for presence of Colony Forming Bacteria and Moulds. At this point we split the devices into 2 distinct groups. Devices 1 - 5 were disinfected with wipes then tested, and subsequently disinfected with UVC and retested. The wipe disinfection process was to thoroughly wipe devices with a clean wipe each time for around 30 seconds, more than twice the average wiping time. The UVC disinfection process involves placing the devices into the Uvisan UVC Disinfection Cabinets and running through the recommended cycle. Group 2 (Devices 6 - 10) were disinfected with UVC only, and then tested. 

The Results

So to the important part. What did we actually discover? Below is a summary that shows the percentage reduction in CFU in the two groups. 

The above is actually self explanatory, but here it is for ease of reference. 

In Group 1 the wipes when used alone only managed to kill 42.4% of Bacteria and Viruses present. That leaves a huge 57.6% of potentially harmful bacteria still remaining. After UVC was then used, this was reduced to 92.7%.

Group 2 was only disinfected using UVC but achieved 97.2% reduction. A great result for UVC there, proving it is unmistakably safer as a disinfection product when compared to wipes.  


I think it is pretty safe here to say that the Uvisan Disinfection Cabinet wins here hands down, but as part of the bigger picture, this highlights an area that could potentially be a problem that is getting overlooked. Anything that can be done to make our world a safer place must be a bonus, whether at work or home or anywhere and unfortunately wipes don’t cut it.