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Author: Bloß R et al. (2010) Source: Journal of Hospital Infection 75: 56-61.


Bloß R et al. (2010)

Adsorption of active ingredients of surface disinfectants depends on the type of fabric used for surface treatment

Background: Disinfection of surfaces in the immediate surroundings of a hospitalised patient is considered an important element in preventing nosocomial infection. As far as is known, the fibre quality of the wipe used has never been examined as factor influencing the disinfection’s success.

Methods: This study was conducted to determine the adsorption of benzalkonium chloride (BAC), glutardialdehyde and propan-1-ol from use-solutions of three surface disinfectants to four different types of fabric (A: white pulp and polyester; B: viscose rayon; C: polyester; D: mixture of viscose, cellulose and polyester). Each disinfectant (use-solution) was exposed to each fabric for up to 24 h. Before and after exposure, tissues were removed and squeezed in a standardised way. The eluate was used to determine the concentration of the active ingredient four times. Analysis of glutardialdehyde and BAC was performed using high performance liquid chromatography; analysis of propan-1-ol was done by gas chromatography.

Results: BAC was strongly adsorbed to the tissues based on white pulp (up to 61 per cent after 30 minutes), followed by the viscose rayon tissues (up to 70 per cent after 30 minutes) and the mixed tissues (up to 54 per cent after 7 hours). The polyester fibre tissues adsorbed the smallest amounts of BAC (up to 17 per cent after 15 minutes. Glutardialdehyde and propan-1-ol did not adsorb to any of the fibres.

Conclusions: The study shows that effective surface disinfection also very much depends on the selection of appropriate fabrics. Calculated BAC concentrations were only found with tissues made of polyester.

Journal of Hospital Infection 75: 56-61.

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Practical tips on the use of ready-to-use disposable tissues for surface disinfection.