Are you wondering if you can use Clorox wipes on your wooden table, chair, or floor to disinfect it without leaving a stain or ruining the finish? You don't need to ponder any further. We've done the research for you, and here's what we found out.
It's safe to use Clorox wipes on polyurethane-treated wood but not on natural, untreated wooden surfaces. Clorox wipes contain C12-14 ethoxylated propoxylated, citric acid and other ingredients that can penetrate wood's porous texture, ruin the coating, or damage the wood. If unsure if it's safe to use, spot test a small area first.
Now that you know Clorox wipes can stain and damage your untreated wood, what are the other options to disinfect wooden surfaces? And what surfaces can you safely use your Clorox wipes on? Read on as we help you maximize the use of your Clorox wipes.
Can You Use Clorox Wipes On Wooden Surfaces?
Clorox wipes are handy disinfecting wipes for daily household cleanups. It is useful for disinfecting surfaces and killing disease-causing viruses and bacteria. It can also prevent bacterial growth on the surface for 24 hours.
You can use Clorox wipes on most non-porous and shiny surfaces, such as kitchen countertops or mirrors. It is safe to use on acrylic, fiberglass, granite and finished hardwood. However, experts advise not to use them to wipe over waxed, oiled, unfinished, untreated, and unpainted wooden surfaces because it will leave a stain.
Wooden surfaces are porous, and the cleaning solution from the wipes can get into the pores and soak into the wood. It can stain and cause the wood to deteriorate. Therefore, experts do not recommend using Clorox wipes unless the surface has a finish that seals the pores, such as a polyurethane protective wood finish.
Polyurethane is like plastic in liquid form and protects wooden surfaces once it dries up. It can be difficult to apply, but you can find tips on how to handle them in these articles:
Moving on, below is an example of a polyurethane product for wooden surfaces.
How about other finishes such as varnish, wood dye, wood stains, lacquer, wax, and oil finish? Experts do not recommend using Clorox wipes on these finishes because they only provide minimal protection.
These finishes help protect the wood from rotting and from minor water spills. However, their formulation can react to the Clorox solvents, corrode the coating, cause discoloration, and ruin the wood.
Can You Use Clorox Wipes On Wooden Floors?
According to the Clorox brand website, their disinfecting wipes can be used on wooden floors, but only for small spills and a quick clean. Repeated use may stain and corrode the wooden floor's finish.
It is best to use a mixture of water and a few drops of liquid soap to clean wood floors safely. Castile soap or any dish soap is ideal. You can also use multi-purpose cleaning and disinfecting products specially formulated for wooden floors. Use a mop for a fast and efficient sweep.
While cleaning with water is relatively safe, it is important to do it quickly and dry the area immediately with a clean rag and fan. Wood tends to expand when wet and can rot, crack, and splinter if left soaked in liquid for too long.
Below is an example of a floor disinfecting product that's safe to use on finished wooden floors.
Should You Wear Gloves With Clorox Wipes?
Some disinfectant wipes are made for hands, so it's gentle enough to be used on the skin. However, Clorox disinfectant wipes are multi-purpose cleaners used for various surfaces. They are not intended for personal hygiene, so wear gloves to avoid allergies and skin irritation.
The formula is slightly stronger to kill disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Thus, it is not advisable to hold it with your bare hands for a prolonged period, especially if your skin is sensitive to solvents and other cleaning agents.
If you're doing a quick clean, it's safe enough to hold it with your bare hands. However, if you're doing a deep cleaning that requires you to hold the wipes longer, it's safer to use gloves.
What Are Clorox Wipes Made Of?
Clorox has different wipe products for various purposes. They have the Disinfecting Wipes, Compostable Cleaning Wipes, Germicidal Wipes, Triple-Action Dust Wipes, and Multi-purpose Paper Towel Wipes.
Each product has a different ingredients list, but let's look at the most popular one, the Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Here are its ingredients:
- C12-14 Alcohols Ethoxylated Propoxylated
- Alkyl C12-14 Dimethylethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride
- Alkyl C12-18 Dimethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Citric Acid
If you're wondering which of these ingredients in Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are not safe on wood, it's the alcohol and citric acid. According to experts, strong and acidic ingredients like vinegar, alcohol, and ammonia, can erode coatings and cause scarring, bubbling, and stains on wood.
Do Clorox Wipes Have Bleach?
All Clorox Wipes do not contain bleach. For wipes, they use a special bleach-free formula that disinfects without using bleach, so it's safe to use on most surfaces.
It is understandable for people to conclude it contains bleach. After all, Clorox is a brand known worldwide for household bleach products. Clorox has other specific cleaning products that contain bleach, such as toilet cleaners, mold and mildew remover, and concentrated bleach formulas.
Below is an example of a Clorox product that contains bleach.
Clorox wipes are safe to use around pets, children, and pregnant women, but they still contain ingredients that are harmful when swallowed and wiped on the skin. Use as directed on the product label and keep it away from children and pets to be safe.
How Do You Sanitize Wood?
If you're looking for an alternative way to sanitize wood, we were able to find several tips on how to safely sanitize wooden surfaces without messing up its finish. You can try the tips below:
- Fill a big spray bottle with 2 cups water, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Spray the mixture lightly on the wooden surface and wipe immediately with a damp rag. Spray and wipe again until the area is clean. Use a dry rag to wipe the surface dry and remove moisture.
- Use a multi-surface disinfectant cleaner like Pine-sol, Lysol, etc. Follow the product instructions on how to create a mixture with water. Use a mop, cloth, and gentle brush, to wipe the area and remove stubborn dirt. Rinse the area with water or a damp rag and dry immediately.
- Mix 1 part olive oil to 1 part white vinegar. Dip a cloth into the mixture and wipe over wooden furniture. It acts as a cleanser and a wood polish at the same time.
- If the wood is dirty and moldy, try a mixture of water, detergent, and a few drops of bleach. Spray the dirty areas with the mixture and use a soft scrub and cloth to get rid of stubborn dirt and molds. Wash off the mixture with water, dry with a rag, and place under the sun.
- How about wooden chopping boards? Simple run it over hot water, then use a brush and antibacterial dishwashing soap to scrub the surface. Rinse off with hot water again and air dry, making sure it is completely dry before your next use.
To ensure you won't ruin your wooden furniture or floor, sanitize a small area first and see how the wood reacts. Aside from wiping the area with a dry rag, be sure the wood is properly air-dried and placed in a warm area of the house. Do not put the furniture directly under the sun to avoid surface degradation.
Thank you for reading all the way through. We hope we sufficiently answered your question, "Can Clorox wipes be used on wood?" If you're up to reading more about sanitizing and disinfecting, below are other great topics you can read: