MDI - use alcohol wipes before every shot?

Just wondering the ratio of people using a wipe before a shot compared to those who don’t.

I’ll go first, I always use them.

I never did.
I poked myself right through my clothes and had little red dots on just about everything I owned. :joy:


Never did. But I do use one prior to placing an infusion set or CGM sensor, mainly to get oil off the skin so the adhesive sticks more effectively. Sterilization is a side benefit.




I get about 150 shots with a BD fine pen needle and never used an alcohol wipe after I went through the first box of 100 wipes I bought a few decades ago. I no longer inject through clothes because it severely decreases the number of shots before needle can no longer be used because dull or bent.
Don’t use wipe before inserting new Dexcom G5 sensor and don’t use one on the Dexcom transmitter either. Just wipe transmitter with dry towel before apply to sensor.


Injector pens right through my clothes, when I was using 'em. So nope.

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So far I’m surprised I’m the only one. It would be a lot more convent to just carry the pen…

I guess no one has had any issues with local infections?

Never. Not once. Have never used an alchohol swab and have never had an infection… Even the cde who trained me on my first injections said not necessary.


Do you use a wipe before you get a mosquito bite?


I remember reading lately, they don’t think it helps anyway. I’m sure the article is out there. But here is someone that mentions it.

I use it for my CGM and Pod to clean off the area so they stay adhered better.

I haven’t used alcohol in 45 yrs. I have been injecting through clothes for about 4 decades. I have never had an infection and I have never had any other kind of skin problem related to injections in 60 yrs. I also use the same needle until it bends.

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I don’t use anything; I just inject - often right through my clothes.

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I’m happy I asked because for the last 17 months I’ve been carrying around wipes :slight_smile:


Welcome to diabetes, the real world. On my last visit, the phlebotomist first put on her gloves, wiped my finger with an alcohol wipe and I blew on the finger to evaporate the alcohol faster. She had an absolute fit and yelled at me that she had to start all over because blowing on finger would contaminate the blood sample. I do believe that when we do finger pricks, all the manufacturers strongly recommend that we squeeze out a drop of blood and carefully absorb the blood into the strip without letting strip touch finger. I can only think that the main reason for not having the strip touch the finger and only the drop of blood is to reduce the possibility of introducing possible contamination from the finger into the sample.

I am sorry, my first response was flippant, so it probably did not come across as being nice.

The swabbing rule is kind of like the rule about changing your lancet every time. Not really a rule that anyone follows.

But anyway, any question is good to ask. Sorry about my earlier response, I was just having fun.


No problem, thanks for clarifying.

I knew some people didn’t use wipes but I was guessing it was going to be more of a 50/50 thing. So far seeing no one does it I’m likely to stop. It would be much easier to just carry a pen without the wipes.

After my first few days I stopped replacing the needles and lancets so quickly.

I do think I’ll keep doing it before applying the dexcom because it sticks better with cleaned skin.


Shaving area + soap and water or on dried skin right after shower when skin is still warm from shower brings me the best results, much better than alcohol wipes, I no longer use overpatches.

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Nope! I only use pre-dexcom insertion because I’m a greasy Italian lady and it would fall off in about two days if I didn’t. I have really sensitive skin, and have had a lot of weird skin infections but none related to insulin injections without an alcohol wipe first (at least yet).

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If at home I normally use wipe but if I am out running around I usually don’t use a wipe.

Yes use it for the Dexcom… that’s a very good practice and wouldn’t recommend doing it without as the thing is festering in there for a week at least…

Just use common sense, if you’re out on a fishing boat all day or working on a hog farm with no shirt on, alchohol swabs probably a good idea… if you’re sitting around home or in an office or doing any other normal stuff really not necessary