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Allergic Reactions to Clorox Wipes

by
author image Kristie Brown
Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Store-bought cleaning wipes can be a time saver when wiping down a bathroom, disinfecting a playroom or cleaning a kitchen after a big meal. Clorox manufactures one of many such brands on the market. If you or a family member develops an allergy to Clorox wipes, it’s essential to know the triggers and what to do when there is a reaction.

Read the Label

If you have chemical sensitivities or a known allergen, it’s imperative to read the label on any cleaning product. The ingredients are typically listed in the order from most prevalent to least prevalent. Clorox wipes are saturated in a solution that includes isopropyl alcohol, alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, alkyl polyglucoside, fragrance, preservative and propylene glycol propyl ether. The alkyl ingredients are cleaning surfactants.

Reactions

Allergic reactions to Clorox wipes can range from mild to severe, so you should familiarize yourself with the range of potential reactions. On the less-severe end of the spectrum, your hands or skin may turn red, become itchy or the skin may begin to peel, particularly if you used a wipe with your bare hands. Hives may also appear on your skin, especially where it came into contact with the wipe. Watery eyes, congestion, itchy nasal passages and mouth, or sneezing can erupt if you have a stronger reaction. Severe reactions may include coughing, nausea and vomiting, labored breathing, throat or facial swelling, or anaphylaxis. MayoClinic.com defines anaphylaxis as a life-threatening allergic reaction that can lead to death if medical treatment isn’t administered expeditiously.

Treatment

If you were unaware that you or a family member had an allergy to Clorox wipes before contact, and your airways remain clear, treat the contact site topically. Over-the-counter ointments, decongestants and eye drops may relieve and ultimately abate the reaction. If you have a known allergy to Clorox wipes, or any of the ingredients in the wipes, your doctor may recommend that you carry an epinephrine pen or medication that will quickly counteract an allergic reaction. When allergic reactions are severe, call 911 or your local emergency provider.

Precautions and Prevention

If contact with Clorox wipes is unavoidable, and you are aware that the potential reaction is usually mild, wear protective gloves and eye wear before touching a wipe. An allergy-protection mask may provide some protection from fumes or chemicals that become airborne. It’s easy to control contact with Clorox wipes at home; however, you may need to inform a school or workplace about a known allergy to the wipes. Many cleaning products do not contain chemicals that cause sensitivities or reactions, and you can always create your own wipes by layering sheets of paper towels in a recycled baby-wipes box and soaking them in a safe or homemade cleaning solution.

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