Flu Outbreak: Why you might not be using disinfecting wipes properly

Amid an outbreak of the flu, a common disinfecting product used by consumers could be ineffective due to consumers not following directions. PHOTO: FOX 17 News

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Seven Middle Tennessee schools have now closed for the week due to illness as the state, and the nation continues to fight the flu.

Hospitalization rates for the flu have reached historic proportions and illness has claimed the lives of 53 children.

In Wilson County alone, 128 teachers missed school on Wednesday due to being sick themselves, or having to care for their sick children.

Amid the outbreaks, schools have taken steps to disinfect classrooms and buildings.

Parents are also taking steps to disinfect homes, but unless you read the directions carefully, you could be doing it wrong.

Among the most-common disinfecting approaches is the use of disinfecting wipes. It's common to see a co-worker in the office or a family member at home use one of the wipes on a surface, then dry it with a paper towel or rag.

For anyone who has actually read the product directions, it turns out that's the wrong way.

To sanitize a surface, directions state to use the wipe and wet the surface, letting it remain wet for 10 seconds.

To disinfect a surface, it should remain wet for 4 minutes and allowed to air dry. The wipe should also be disposed after use and not used on another surface.

Disinfecting wipes can be effective in keeping the spread of viruses, but only if used properly.

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