Bactericidal Activity of Ready-To-Use Alcohol-Based Commercial Wipes According to EN 16615 Carrier Standard

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 18;16(18):3475. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183475.


Background: The effectiveness of ready-to-use disinfectant wipes was previously assessed in standardized suspension tests, which were inadequate because they ignored that the wipes are rubbed against a surface. Thus, we assessed the effectiveness of commercially available disinfectant wipes impregnated with an alcoholic solution according to the 16615 standard, which includes a test with mechanical action.

Methods: According to the EN 16615 standard, under clean conditions, four squares (5cm x 5 cm), placed next to one another, were marked on a test surface. Enterococcus hirae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus were inoculated on the leftmost square, and a wipe impregnated with an alcoholic solution was placed to the left of that square. Then, the wipe was pressed with a 2.5 kg weight and moved to the right and back to the left. After contact times of 1, 5, 10, or 15 minutes, we measured the reduction in bacterial load.

Results: Alcohol-based ready-to-use commercial wipes did not show sufficient bactericidal activity at the contact times of 1, 5, 10 and 15 minutes. Wipes containing propan-1-ol and a mixture of propan-1-ol and propan-2-ol were active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa at the contact times of 1 minute and 15 minutes. None of the examined wipes were active against Enterococcus hirae or Staphylococcus aureus.

Conclusion: Bactericidal parameters of ready-to-use disinfectant wipes should be determined in surface tests, in addition to suspension tests, because suspension tests do not simulate the conditions under which disinfectant wipes are used in practice.

Keywords: EN 16615; bactericidal activity; contact time; disinfection; ready-to-use alcohol-based wipes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Propanol / pharmacology*
  • 1-Propanol / standards
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Load
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Disinfectants / standards
  • Disinfection
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enterococcus hirae / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Disinfectants
  • 1-Propanol