It's important to disinfect your insulin injection site before injecting, and alcohol wipes are the perfect product for that! In this article, I'll discuss why alcohol is an effective disinfectant for diabetes and how alcohol wipes can be used. I'll also give you some tips on selecting alcohol wipe products - there are a lot of choices out there!

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • What is an alcohol wipe?
  • Do diabetics need alcohol wipes?
  • Can I use something else to disinfect my injection place?
  • Do alcohol wipes raise blood sugar levels?

What Is An Alcohol Prep Pad Used For?

An alcohol pad is a medical product that is rubbed over the injection site before injecting insulin or another medication. This reduces the risk of contamination of insulin needles and syringes often found on other skin surfaces when people inject with their fingers.

When you have wounds like cuts or ulcers on your feet you can also use these alcohol prep pads to disinfect the surrounding area.

An alcohol prep pad, also known as an alcohol wipe or alcohol swab, contains 70% isopropyl alcohol (sometimes called rubbing alcohol) that kills any bacteria that may be present on the skin surface and makes it sterile and bacteria-free. A needle inserted into this wetted area will not contact bacteria which could lead to infection at an injection site. Alcohol wipes are mostly sold individually wrapped in separate sterile packaging.

What Are The Best Alcohol Wipes for Diabetics?

The alcohol wipe market is flooded with many different products. To help you choose the best alcohol wipes for diabetes, I've compiled a list of the top ten recommended alcohol wipe brands and provided some information on each brand so that you can make an informed decision about which alcohol wipes are right for you!

1. Medpride Sterile Alcohol Prep Pads

With 70% Isopropyl, Medpride prep pads prevent infections. They are individually wrapped for easy use in hospitals or anywhere at home. Soft and gentle on any type of skin, they are strong enough for those with sensitive skin- like children- as well as adults.

From cleaning small wounds to sanitizing skin areas prior to injections for insulin shots. These alcohol prep pads make sure your skin is sterile.

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03/16/2024 07:26 am GMT
2. Curad Alcohol Prep Pads for Diabetics
$5.99 $3.98

Curad Alcohol Prep Pads for Diabetics may seem like just another convenient contender in your daily carrier, but these two-fold alcohol swabs are made to meet the needs of diabetics and their specific skincare needs. Made from 70% isopropyl alcohol with antiseptic properties, Curad alcohol prep pads likely will do more than one talking point justice so it's time to stop worrying about sensitivities and what hand sanitizers have done to our poor skin. With no cloying smell or heavy aftermath, you'll be on your way safer & cleaner in no time!

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03/16/2024 07:26 am GMT

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4. COVIDIEN 6818 Webcol Alcohol Prep Pads

COVIDIEN Webcol Alcohol Prep Pads, the staple of scrubbing and cleansing in hospitals. Designated as a premium pad material that provides maximum absorbency for scrubbing and cleansing with only 70% isopropyl alcohol to protect delicate skin. The sterile non-woven sponges meant for moderate cleansing are designed by Covidien wound care products that represent over a century of quality innovation trusted by health professionals across the world.

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03/16/2024 07:26 am GMT
5. Clever Health Alcohol Prep Pads With 70% Isopropyl

Traditional alcohol pads are dry, which can lead to tearing and difficulties. With Clever Health Alcohol Prep Pads with 70% Isopropyl alcohol, you'll get the protection of alcohol prep pads wrapped neatly into a pre-moistened pad for easy cleaning and sanitizing of dirty or otherwise unapproachable surfaces like an injection site.

The soft material is gentle on your skin, especially if it's sensitive to diabetes or any other condition that requires treatment with insulin injections; no need to worry about irritation from dry silicon pads anymore! With each packet containing 70% isopropyl alcohol, these swabs keep quickly acquired germs away longer than traditional alcohol wipes.

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Do Diabetics Need Alcohol Swabs?

Yes, alcohol swabs wash away germs so there is less trauma to your skin when injecting insulin. Also, alcohol kills many bacteria and reduces the risk of infection or abscesses. For myself and my diabetic friends, alcohol wipes are a must-have in order to stay healthy!

What Can I Use Instead of Alcohol Wipes for Injections?

Water and soap are the most important disinfectant to apply to your body before injecting needles. It's not always convenient to wash your hands when you are outdoors. So, you can use alcohol wipes or pads to reduce the risk of contamination when you are traveling. They are easy to bring along.

It's also worth mentioning that there are everyday items that you might not know about that work well as an alcohol wipe alternative - like any product containing alcohol: alcohol spray, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or even mouthwash. These are all capable of killing bacteria on surfaces so they're definitely worth considering!

Do Alcohol Wipes Increase Blood Sugar?

I saw this question popping up more and more. To briefly answer this; No, alcohol wipes do not cause an increase or lower blood sugar levels. They just help you disinfecting the area you want to inject.


Alcohol is a great disinfectant and will reduce the risk of infection or abscesses. Alcohol wipes are more convenient than washing your hands because they're easy to bring along, but it's worth mentioning that everyday items containing alcohol can also be used as an alternative if you don't want to purchase a product specifically for this purpose. The best alcohol wipe products for diabetics come from brands like Care One Medical, Curad Skin Soothing Wipes with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, and Medline Antibacterial Alcohol Preps (Alcohol Pads). 

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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