When we see dirt or debris on surfaces we consider that dirty. However, a surface can appear free of dirt and still harbor germs that could be transmitted to you, someone around you, or a loved one.

We want to believe that when we wipe surfaces with a liquid cleaning chemical, it kills the germs on that surface. What we’re not thinking about are the obstacles that commonly prevent proper surface disinfection when using chemical disinfectants.

  • Application of the liquid chemical
  • Amount of time a surface must remain wet with the liquid chemical
  • Amount of friction required to be effective on more porous surfaces

According to published research conducted at 36 acute care hospitals, over 50% of the commonly touched surfaces in patient rooms were missed during the liquid chemical cleaning process1. Additional research identified that the time spent cleaning with liquid chemicals beyond 25 minutes did not significantly reduce the bacteria on commonly touched surfaces2. Pathogens missed during the cleaning/disinfection process have led to transmission by hand3.

Think about the times you’ve hand-washed your car. You spray it down with water (likely using a sprayer nozzle), you cover the entire car in soap – scrubbing all the way around. Then when you rinse the car with water, you see areas of dirt after you know you scrubbed the entire car. The same theory can be applied to disinfecting surfaces with liquid chemicals, except these germs are microscopic so you can’t see what you missed.

Relying on liquid chemicals alone will leave pathogens on surfaces that are not properly disinfected, validating the need for effective disinfection tools that enhance traditional cleaning and easily integrate into the disinfection process. Xenex has worked with 900+ healthcare facilities over the past decade to strengthen their environmental disinfection strategies and integrate technologies that are proven to quickly and effectively destroy pathogens that remain on surfaces with minimal impact on workflow.

The right tools and the right approach can repeatedly provide a more effective disinfection process to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission from surfaces to people.

Resources:
1. Carling P: Improving Cleaning of the Environment Surrounding Patients in 36 Acute Care Hospitals. Am J Infect Control 2008, vol. 29:11, pp 1035-1041
2. Coppin JD, et al. ICHE. 2019;40(5):605-6
3. Dancer SJ. JHI. 2009;73(4):378-85