Hospital Infection Control Practitioners Doubt Laundered Mops and Cleaning Cloths are Risk-Free

June 19, 2018

A recent survey conducted by Contec Professional, found that a majority of infection control practitioners (ICPs) do not trust their hospital’s laundering system. Of respondents, 72 percent would not wipe their mug or drinking glass with a freshly laundered hospital mopping pad or wipe. In fact, 42 percent have noted trash, debris or hair in freshly cleaned textiles. The poll was conducted at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Conference (APIC) in Minneapolis, June 13-15.

“The feedback from these ICPs is alarming and underscores the broken laundering process that exists in healthcare,” said Jack McBride, CEO at Contec. “Pathogens are surviving hospital laundering processes, placing patients (and hospital visitors) at risk for dangerous healthcare associated infections (HAIs). It is time for everyone involved in infection control to review their current laundering methods and take steps to reduce this risk.”

According to the survey, lack of awareness among hospital management may be contributing to this risk. 62 percent of ICPs said they have not seen their hospital senior leadership conduct a visual audit of their facility’s laundry process from start to finish, nor have they seen personnel test the compatibility of their disinfectant and laundered microfiber (60 percent). More than half of respondents (54 percent) are not familiar with, or are unsure of, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council and their standards for laundry inspection and “load” processes.

Research by Contec presented at the conference and published in the American Journal of Infection Control, Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops Used to Clean Healthcare Environmental Surfaces, reveals 50 percent of laundered mops and wipes still contain unsterile, living bacteria levels that exceed national standards. Microscopic images of microfiber flat mops were scanned before and after laundering. Dirt and debris was discovered entrapped in laundered microfibers. Moreover, residual dirt in laundered mops has been shown to neutralize disinfectants, and laundry processes of mops and wipes can diminish quality, enabling cross-contamination.

By contrast, disposable microfiber cleaning products offer a superior clean, optimize the power of disinfectants and eliminate the risk of cross-contamination posed by relaundered products. Check out our product solutions.

About Contec:

Contec® Professional revolutionizes cleaning. Our disposable microfiber mops and wipes deliver advanced cleaning performance and lower total operational costs by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of cleaning professionals. Whether your focus is healthcare, institutional, or commercial cleaning, Contec’s PREMIRA Microfiber floor pads, wipes and ergonomic cleaning tools are the best choice for a healthier facility.

Founded in 1988 in Spartanburg, SC, Contec, Inc. has led cleaning innovation in the most critical and demanding industries from pharmaceutical and medical device to aerospace for three decades. We are bringing that innovation and knowledge to other industries and applications.