Cleaning wipes: Damage control with Big Wipes

Big Wipes cleaning wipes can be a part of your health and safety strategy

Big Wipes cleaning wipes can play a big part in damage control for the health of your hands.  According to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures (2016), over 20,000 people are suffering from work-related skin diseases.  For many tradespeople, therefore, cleaning hands effectively while still being able to care for them is extremely important.

Big Wipes antibacterial wipes Damage control with Big Wipe Dirty Hands

Photo Credit Scott at Forme_Industrious

On a daily basis, tradespeople, service teams and contractors have to deal with a wide variety of building and construction materials on the job.  In addition, they need to keep themselves and the work area clean of fix and repair products.  Chemicals such as silicone sealants, paints, adhesives, PU foam and general dirt can be hard to remove.  Some products contain substances that can harm the skin or enter the body through skin contact.  It is therefore vital to protect both the individual and the surrounding areas from these potentially aggressive substances.

Dermatitis and other Skin Diseases

Big Wipes help to solve a health and safety issue for tradespeople.  Speedy removal of irritants is essential.  Skin disease on the hands can be debilitating and has serious implications when trying to continue with work.  The skin is your body’s largest organ and serves as its protective barrier.

Skin Problems Manual workers and cleaning professionals

However, if harmful substances accumulate on your skin, that barrier can be broken and leave hands sore and inflamed.  Most importantly, this has the potential to cause long-term health issues.  Not only can skin disease be incapacitating for the sufferer, work becomes difficult and livelihoods are put in jeopardy.

Skin Condition

There are common signs of skin problems to look for on hands.  For instance, dryness, redness, cracking or swelling of the hands and fingers as well as blisters, flaking and itching. Workers can develop these symptoms as they come into direct contact with substances commonly used on site.  If you are immersing your hands in liquids, or getting them splashed on a regular basis, then your hands may suffer.  Contact with contaminated tools or surfaces can also lead to harmful substances landing on the skin, causing a problem.  Read more about contact dermatitis here.

Big Wipes antibacterial wipes Damage control with Big Wipes combating Dermatitis_ bleeding_ finger

The APC Approach

The HSE advises workers to use the ‘APC’ approach when it comes to looking after your hands, which stands for Avoid, Protect and Check.

  1. Avoid

Logically, you should avoid direct contact between unprotected hands and substances, products and wet work where this is sensible and practical.  However, when you’re a busy tradesperson, avoiding contact with filth can be impossible.

Contact Dermititis graph

Photo Credit HSE

Washing your hands is the most obvious way of getting rid of potentially harmful substances.  But when you’re off site, water access can be miles away.  Even when available, there’s plenty of muck that just doesn’t come off with soap and water.  Moreover and most importantly, soap and liquid cleaners are in fact one of the main causes of contact dermatitis.  In these cases, Big Wipes cleaning wipes are the safest and most practical solution.  They are fully portable and remove a host of nasty substances.

  1. Protect

If avoiding contact with harmful substance is not possible, then tradesmen and tradeswomen should endeavour to protect their skin.

For some trades, gloves might be the answer.  But for many jobs, gloves are simply not suitable, and for a large number of individuals, the gloves themselves can cause problems.  There have also been some notable prosecutions over the years, where employees were seriously injured as a result of wearing gloves in the wrong situations.   For example, there was an incident where employees suffered serious hand injuries as a result of gloved hands becoming entangled in rotating drill bits.

Uriticaria (hives) can be a reaction to certain gloves.  Symptoms include an almost immediate raised and itchy rash that can also cause tingling and burning.  Gloves could also make the wearer’s hands too warm or sweaty, which could lead to discomfort or distress.

Gloves antibacterial wipes

For those times when gloves cannot be used, quick removal of the irritants with Big Wipes cleaning wipes is the only solution.

  1. Check

Continuously check your hands for the first signs of red, dry or itchy skin.   Individuals who are concerned they may have a skin problem, should always visit their GP for advice and treatment.

Big Wipes cleaning wipes fight against Leptospirosis

Corrosive chemicals and industrial sealants & adhesives are not the only substances that can harm the skin.  Many tradespeople could also come into contact with water infected with Leptospirosis, an infection that can be transmitted from animals to humans.  According to Public Health England, the most common sources of infection in the UK are rats and cattle.  These animals can spread the disease in their urine.

Big Wipes antibacterial wipes Damage control Big Wipes combating leptospirosis

Leptospirosis can cause no symptoms at all, a mild flu-like illness, or severe illness, the presentation of which is called Weil’s disease (Weil’s syndrome), with jaundice and kidney failure.  Symptoms usually develop 7-21 days after initial infection. The incubation period can be as short as two to three days or as long as 30 days.  In more severe cases, there may be failure of some organs, e.g the kidneys, or meningitis.  Generally, cases will recover fully within two to six weeks but some may take up to three months.

Big Wipes effectively prevent the incubation of Leptospira (Weils) interrogans strain RGA.  According to OIE Leptospiros Reference Laboratory, “no Leptospira interrogans serovar icterhohaemorrhagiae strain was detected in the media which was inoculated with the Big Wipes sections which were exposed to leptospires.”

Big Wipes Laboratory

Preservatives in wipes

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen.  For instance, if you have a nickel allergy and your skin comes in contact with jewellery made with even a very small amount of nickel, you may develop red, bumpy, scaly, itchy or swollen skin at the point of contact.

Some wipes still contain the preservative Methylisothiazolinone (MIT or MI).  This chemical has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.  Working closely with the European Society for Contact Dermatitis, Cosmetics Europe issued an industry-wide recommendation to discontinue the use of the preservative MIT in personal care products.

Big Wipes anticipated these recommendations many years ago.  Our biodegradable formula contains no artificial preservatives, phosphates or formaldehyde.  Further, Big Wipes are paraben-free, mainly water-based and comprise less than 0.5% alcohol.

Big Wipes Dirty Hand butterfly

Skin Protection

The Big Wipes 4×4 range has been dermatalogically assessed and approved.  Dermatologists recorded zero levels of irritation during controlled testing on human volunteers.

In addition to four powerful cleaning agents, Big Wipes also contain four skin conditioners.  Aloe Vera, Lanolin, Vitamin E and Glycerine all help to nourish and protect the skin.

Surface Cleaning with Big Wipes

Cleansing wipes aren’t just the answer to protecting and cleaning hands.  Big Wipes are also the perfect on-site solution for cleaning tools and surfaces.  Silicone and PU foam, for instance, are unpleasant products to get on your fingers and skin but they are also tough to get off surfaces and tools.  Using the 4×4 Heavy-Duty Big Wipes ensures the removal of paint and varnishes, adhesives, oil, sealants and general grime from hands, tools and surfaces.  And if it’s gone from your tools, your hands are less likely to come into contact with contaminated and potentially harmful surfaces.

PowerSpray Wipe aircon

The Big Wipes formula is also available in a 4×4 Power Spray.  The Spray is ideal for pre-treating larger areas such as walls, floors or window frames before wiping them clean.  Its speedy removal of muck, which means you can save time and money by fixing accidents quickly and effectively.  Further, the Power Spray is perfect for refreshing any Big Wipes cleaning wipes that may have dried out in the sun.


Big Wipes protect both the individual and the surrounding areas from aggressive substances that workers are subjected to daily.  The Big Wipes hand care range provides tradespeople with everything they need to look after their hands.  It helps them stay clean, stay professional and keep their skin in prime condition for the job in hand.

Clean Hand Leaf