Healthcare Wipes

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Disinfectant Wipes

Demand for wipes used in healthcare settings is expected to increase 2.7% per year to $635 million in 2026. Growth will come mostly from increasing unit sales, which will accelerate as healthcare operations return to pre-pandemic levels. Other factors supporting market growth include:

  • an aging population and increasing need for senior care, which will boost demand for patient care wipes because they are often used to bathe seniors with mobility issues
  • an increase in surgeries, spurring demand for skin disinfectant wipes
  • ongoing concerns about cross-contamination and HAIs, promoting demand for hard surface disinfectant wipes

In addition, product innovations will encourage new adoptions of wipes in certain healthcare applications, such as skin-contact and disinfectant wipes.

Healthcare Wipe Demand Was Stronger in 2021 Following Mixed 2020 Performance

The market for healthcare wipes in both unit and value terms grew in 2021 following a depressed 2020 (attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic):

  • While demand for surface disinfectant wipes spiked in 2020 to combat the coronavirus, a decrease in surgical procedures caused demand for skin disinfectants to decline, weakening overall growth.
  • In 2021, the healthcare wipes market expanded robustly as facilities were able to operate in more normal capacities.

Going forward, it is expected that demand for products like surface disinfectant wipes will remain above pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, demand will be supported by increases in healthcare spending prompted by an aging population and an uptick in surgical procedures, as well as an anticipated rise in births.

Among Applications, Patient Care Wipes to Account for Largest Absolute Gains

Patient care wipes are projected to account for 67% of total market gains, driven primarily by the aging US population and the prevalent use of personal bathing wipes in senior-oriented healthcare. As this segment of the population continues to increase in size, the market for senior care will expand, in turn boosting healthy gains for personal bathing and other patient care wipes. Growth will also result from continued product innovation, such as the development of substrates and chemicals that are gentler or more eco-friendly.

Product Innovations Continue to Promote Sales

Product development efforts will continue to promote demand growth for healthcare wipes, with enhanced disinfection capabilities and increased gentleness (of both substrates and chemicals) among the key areas of focus. For example:

  • In late 2020, Ecolab launched Disinfectant 1 wipes, which are formulated to kill 44 pathogens in one minute.
  • In 2021, GOJO Industries introduced PURELL professional surface disinfecting wipes, which can eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 30 seconds.
  • Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies Natural Care extra sensitive wipes, which were designed in partnership with neonatal intensive care unit nurses, are intended to be extremely gentle on the delicate skin of premature infants.

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