International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Assessing the efficacy of different microfibre cloths at removing surface micro-organisms associated with healthcare-associated infections

This study investigated the ability of 10 different microfibre cloths to remove microbial contamination from three surfaces commonly found in hospital settings (stainless steel, furniture laminate and ceramic tile), under controlled laboratory conditions. Tests were conducted using organisms known to cause healthcare-associated infections, i.e. methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (in spore form) and Escherichia coli. For all the cloths tested, there was significant statistical evidence to suggest a difference in cleaning performance between them on first and single use (P<0.001). However, the overall performance of the nine re-useable cloths did not differ in practice with differences in log10 reductions of <1. The performance of the disposable microfibre cloth was notably worse. The performance of all cloths decreased with repeated use on a succession of contaminated surfaces. After repeated washing, re-usable cloth performance improved at 75 washes, and reduced after 150 washes, although, in most instances, performance after 150 washes was better than at first wash. For all cloths, price was not an indication of performance. Based on these laboratory findings, it is concluded that use of the microfibre cloths investigated is an effective way to reduce the levels of MRSA, E. coli and C. difficile (in spore form) on a range of surfaces found in the clinical environment and could therefore be of benefit to these environments. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2011;78:182-186.