Which one is better?

This is a question Mrskgill06 recently asked my opinion about, after reading my post about Anti-viral tissues.  I was happy to do some research and post about it here!  The bottom line is, the Clorox Wipes win by a nose, based on the time needed to disinfect.  Here's the run-down.

Although the FDA does not regulate the use of products to be used for household cleaning, they do set standard definitions for the words "sanitize" and "disinfect", generally used to describe the cleanliness of manufacturing equipment used to make food (which they do regulate).  It seems to me that all cleaning agents use these standard legal definitions, as outlined by the FDA.  Read more about that here.



Microorganism - bacteria, fungus, mold, algae.  NOT virus!

Cleaning - removal of visible soil

Sanitizing -  five log reduction (99.999%) of non-infectious microorganisms, in 30 seconds.  Alternatively, A sanitizer may provide a 3 log reduction (99.9%) of infectious microorganisms. This second definition is the one being used by these companies, as they list the microorganisms (which are known to be infectious).  This term is used for non-food and food contact surfaces. 

Disinfecting - provide a 5 log reduction (99.999%) of infectious microorganisms in less than 10 minutes.  Notice the difference is technically a bacterial reduction level of 100x greater than a sanitizer.  This MAY also provide a viral reduction, but it is not required per the definition.  This term is used for non-food contact surfaces.

*Note - the labels for both products state that if they are used on food-contact surfaces, you need to rinse the surface before it contacts food.  This, I believe, is why their labels state "sanitize and disinfect".



Neither Clorox nor Lysol list the ingredients on their website, but I found them on the packages.  Both are bleach-free, however the Clorox does list active ingredients that are chemical compounds with chlorine in the structure, similiar to bleach, totaling 0.28%.  Lysol used a single chlorine-containing compound, totaling 0.28% concentration as well.

You may be interested in the Clorox Green Works Wipes, since the ingredient list seems more friendly (I didn't look into this is much detail), are listed online, with an ingredient glossary to explain the details.  However, the Green Works wipes do NOT disinfect, as stated on their website.



Both Clorox and Lysol Wipes meet the definition for sanitizer, and disinfectant.  However, the Clorox Wipes disinfect in 4 minutes, whereas the Lysol Wipes require 10 minutes.  So since time is significant, the Clorox Wipes could be viewed as slightly better in performance.

Clorox indicates on the label it disinfects, as tested with the following microorganisms AND virus:  Staphylococcus, E.coli, Salmonella, Rhinovirus and Influenza type A.  The Lysol wipes did not indicate on the website, but the label states the same bacterial and viral species. 



I found it interesting that the Clorox Wipes do not contain Clorox Bleach, and the Lysol Wipes do not contain Alcohol.  Traditional Lysol Disinfectant Spray is mostly alcohol, but does also contain another disinfectant, which I understand has changed over time, so I can't identify it now, since I don't have a can of lysol to check.  Lysol spray meets the definition for sanitizer and disinfectant as well, with a 10 minute disinfection time.  Traditional Clorox Bleach (or generic brand) has been validated with a long list of microorganisms and viruses, with a 10 minute disinfection time.

Although all four product options will disinfect, I mention these last two as alternatives because you get MUCH more active product for your money, and it is alot easier to keep the surface WET for the 10 minute disinfection time than it is using the wet wipes.  This is absolutely necessary in order to properly disinfect!

The bottom line is they are both effective, although the Clorox brand do the job in a slightly quikcer time!



AKA sunmoonstars

The Science Spot


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Sep. 8, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Really good info!

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Sep. 8, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Thank you..  That is exactly what I was wanting to know...

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Sep. 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Great info, Tonya. Thanks!

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 2:12 AM

Great information! Thanks

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 2:47 AM

Great info, thanks for the hard work.

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 4:45 AM

AAAACHOOOOO....!   Itch itch itch itch... cough cough cough.    *sniff sniffle*

Both of them blow :)

But, the info was an very intersting read.

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 10:13 AM

I just buy these knockoffs at Walgreens' -- huge tub for $4. 

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 10:37 AM

I vote for neither!  Use vinegar or plain hydrogen peroxide if you need to disinfect a surface.

*steps off of soapbox*

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Very interesting.... Thank you

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Sep. 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM

I vote for neither...   as another PP said... vinegar....  hydrogen peroxide....     cheaper...  and better for your home and for yourself.

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