Wipes and wipers include wet, dry, and biocide-saturated microfiber cloth, paper, foam, and nonwoven sheets for medical, fiber optic, laboratory, electronic, and other critical cleaning applications. Dry wipes and dry wipers do not contain any wet cleaning agents. By contrast, wet wipes and wet wipers contain a solvent, water-based, terpene, or other specialty cleaning agent. Terpenes are plant-derived hydrocarbons that are used in place of some solvents and that can remove grime, smoke, soot, carbon deposits, grease or oil smudge, diesel fuel, and cutting fluids. In addition to type (wet or dry), dimensional parameters such as width or outer diameter (OD) and overall length are important to consider when choosing wipes and wipers.
Differences in Wipes and Wipers
Wipes and wipers differ in terms of materials of construction and/or backing materials. Choices include cotton or other natural fibers, foams and sponges, microfiber or chamois sheets, paper or other cellulosic-based products, coated or uncoated plastic sheets and plastic films, polymers, and terry cloth. Foams are typically manmade materials while sponges refer to natural, porous materials from the ocean. Wipes and wipers that use plastic sheets or films often have a special coating. For example, tack sheets may be coated with either a contact adhesive or a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA). Polymer backings for wipes and wipers include materials such as polyester, rayon, nylon, and polyvinylidene fluoride.
Features are important to consider when selecting wipes and wipers. Abrasive wipes and wipers use abrasive particles to mechanically enhance a part cleaning or metal polishing process. Anti-static wipes and wipers contain anti-static agents or conductive compounds to reduce or eliminate the generation of static electrical charges. Disinfecting wipes and wipers contain biocides, germicides, sporicides, insecticides, pesticides, viricides, repellents, disinfectants, or sanitizers that can be effective against bacteria including TB (mycobacterium tuberculosis), viruses including HIV-1 (AIDS), fungi, spores, parasites, insects, and/or other organisms or micro-organisms.
Wipes and wipers may be designed for specific industries or applications. Some products are suitable for absorbing and applying stains, lubricants, varnishes, or other coatings. Others are designed for pharmaceutical, medical, or other biotechnology applications. Wipes and wipers for critical cleaning applications do not leave a residue on the surface after rinsing. These wipes and wipers are used mainly in the semiconductor, optics, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries. Wipes and wipers for cleaning validation, degreasing, hand cleaning, and particle or dust removal are also available.