Alcohol swabs are one of the most common first-aid items used for medical aid. They are also applied in medical procedures, like prepping an area for vaccination or drawing blood. However, what exactly is the benefit of using these medical swabs? And what role does isopropyl alcohol play in their ability?
The Purpose of Alcohol Swabs
To put it simply, alcohol swabs are used to clean surfaces. Alcohol, in particular ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol, are low-level disinfectants and sanitizers. In other words, they eliminate a wide range of microorganisms. Here is some of the microbes that isopropyl alcohol can kill:
- Bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella
- Viruses, such as herpes and hepatitis B
- Fungi, such as ringworm or Candida
Alcohol disinfectants are ineffective against bacterial spores.
Given this role as a low-level disinfectant, isopropyl alcohol is commonly used to clean medical facilities and instruments. Usually administered during a first aid incident or before a puncture in the skin, alcohol swabs cleanse the area of infectious cells. This is done to protect the area from further irritation and damage.
IPA for Medical Swabbing
When it comes to using alcohol to disinfect or sanitize, the main two options are ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. Using isopropyl alcohol for medical swabbing has a few benefits, which have led it to become the standard alcohol used in alcohol swabs.
First, this alcohol evaporates faster than its ethyl counterpart. This might seem like something you would want to avoid, as evaporating quicker might mean less thorough disinfection. However, both alcohols can cause skin irritation after too much exposure. So, the sooner the substance evaporates off the skin, the less damage there will be.
Another key advantage of using isopropyl alcohol is its cost, with it being highly affordable and easy to produce. While a single alcohol swab is not going to drain the bank account, when you consider the massive scale, it can add up to a tremendous expense. So, the low price is ideal for every kind of industry and consumer alike.
Where to Buy Isopropyl Alcohol
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