Are Baby Wipes Antibacterial?

Debunking Myths Around the Germ-Fighting Capabilities of Baby Wipes

by Coterie Team

This article does not provide medical advice. The information on site is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, your child’s pediatrician, or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding your or your child’s health.

There is no denying it–baby wipes are such a convenient way to mop up spillages, freshen sticky hands and faces, and keep your little one clean during diaper changes.

Some brands claim to be biodegradable (though baby wipes should not be flushed), others say they are indestructible–but what about antibacterial? To what extent can these claims be trusted, and how can they benefit your child? Are those useful clean diaper wipes really antibacterial?

The team at Coterie decided to put this question to the test to ensure that you have all of the information you need to make the right choices for your family and ensure that you are selecting the best baby wipes brand.

What Does ‘Antibacterial’ Really Mean?

In simple terms, antibacterial products contain ingredients and substances that have been scientifically proven to kill bacteria. These types of products usually contain active ingredients such as triclosan or benzethonium chloride, which work by disrupting the cell walls of the bacteria.

Are Baby Wipes Antibacterial?

So, are the grand claims true? Are baby wipes that claim to be antibacterial really all that they seem to be?

The answer is–not really. For the most part, baby wipes don’t kill germs. While some baby wipe products claim to be antibacterial, very few, if any, contain triclosan or benzethonium chloride. Even those wipes that do contain these elements typically do so in barely discernible trace form, which is far too little to make any real difference.

Keep in mind that even when a product claims to be 'antibacterial,' it may not be effective against certain kinds of bacteria. It is important to understand the specific germ-killing capabilities of the active ingredient and to always thoroughly clean your hands after using any kind of baby wipe, irrespective of whether it claims to be antibacterial or not.

How to Keep Your Infant Clean and Germ-Free

There are plenty of ways to keep your infant clean and germ-free without using antibacterial wipes. Here are a few tips:

Wash Your Hands Properly Before Touching Your Baby

Get into the habit of washing your hands thoroughly before picking up and touching your baby. Use soap and warm water, and make sure your hands are completely dry after. This will reduce any germs coming from your skin to the infant and can reduce their risk of being exposed to illness.

Keep Toys and Blankets Clean

Use warm water and soap to wash toys, and make sure that any throws and blankets are put on a hot wash on a regular basis–this will help to kill any germs and reduce the potential spread of illness.

Choose Natural Products When Possible

When shopping for baby wipes and other babycare products, look for products that are made of natural ingredients rather than those containing harsh chemicals, which will help to reduce the risk of skin irritation and other adverse reactions.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, baby wipes are not antibacterial, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other simple steps you can use to keep yourself and your infant healthy.

With our tips, you can help to reduce the risk of illness, and help your baby build their own strong immune system!