Presaturated Wipes – Three Things to Consider
When it comes to pre-saturated wipes, the smallest things can make a big difference. Some may not be obvious at first glance, but they do play a part in cleaning outcomes. There are three things to consider when choosing the best pre-saturated wipe for the job. They are material, fluid formulation and packaging.
Wipes are offered in a variety of materials that impact price and performance. Non-woven paper wipes are typically the least expensive. They are typically made for single use - think disposable paper towels. They are inexpensive and made for the simplest cleaning tasks.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are woven or knitted fabric wipes. They are typically made with soft synthetic fibers like polyester, rayon and polypropylene. These wipes are made with tear-resistant fabric that will not rip, lint or leave fibers behind. Woven fabric wipes don’t use glues or binders that can dissolve during use, so they stay strong, especially when wet. Woven fabric wipes are ideal for applications where non-abrasive cleanliness is critical such as in cleanroom surface wiping, for electronics cleaning and drying or for medical device soil removal.
In some instances, you may also want to use an antistatic wipe, also known as an ESD (electrostatic discharge) wipe. These wipes not only clean, but are made with a fabric that reduces static buildup up on what you’re cleaning. This is especially helpful if you’re wiping sensitive electronics equipment or require a dust-free surface. ESD wipes prevent electrostatic static buildup and allows it to harmlessly dissipate.
There is a broad array of cleaning fluids, both water-based and solvent-based, for different cleaning applications. General purpose cleaning wipes typically have a 70% isopropyl alcohol, 30% deionized water ratio and are ideal for cleaning dirt and fingerprints from workbenches, machinery, tools, instruments, smartphones and other surfaces. They are gentle, non-corrosive and don’t leave residue behind.
Stronger, formulas typically have a higher alcohol content for tougher cleaning jobs. They are better at removing more stubborn soils like fluxes, pastes, inks, uncured epoxy and chip bonder.
Pre-saturated wipes are convenient, quick to use and come pre-loaded with the correct amount of fluid for the task. They offer the right fabric and fluid in the correct combination, typically resulting in more consistent cleaning performance. But if the packaging isn’t right, it can result in dried-out wipes that are a pain to access. Look for packaging with easy pop-up dispensing, yet keeps the wipes moist and ready-to-use. Sealed foil packets and plastic tubs with tight sealing lids work best.
With so many pre-saturated wipe variations on the market, it is important to consult with an expert and experienced wipe manufacturer to ensure what you are using is right for the task. Talk with one of our MicroCare applications specialists. Tell them what soils you encounter and what surface you’re cleaning and they can find the right wipe match for you.