Antibacterial wipes have been found to actually spread dangerous strains of bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) instead of killing them. This usually happens because hospital staff use these antibacterial wipes, meant to limit the spread of nosocomial infections, in an improper way.

They usually use a single wipe on several surfaces. This is a wrong way to do it because it means that the highly resistant bacteria is spread to all these surfaces. The bacteria that do get killed this way are the harmless ones. The wipes do reduce the bacterial count on the surface, but a wipe per surface should be used to prevent the transfer of live bacteria to other objects.

Some of the wipes used in hospitals even have the words "kills MRSA" printed on the boxes, but this is not true in most of the time. Experts say that if a wipe would actually have an ingredient to kill off bacteria instantly, it would also be harmful to the skin.

The wipes are important as they perform a very important task - they remove dirt on which the bacteria grows as well as the bacteria. Hospital staff should, however, refrain from using that contaminated wipes on other surfaces. It should be thrown away after each use for the antibacterial cleaning to be effective.