Reducing Cross-Contamination With Microfiber
A reader asks: "I realize that using microfiber cloths correctly with suggested laundry procedures can reduce cross contamination. If I cannot use hot water, bleach or other harsh cleaners, nor can I use hot drying, how do I know the microfiber cloths are truly disinfected?"
Upon researching this topic more closely I have come to some basic conclusions that apply in most cases. First of all, one very important reason for color coding is to use designated cloths for very specific purposes. I observed a cleaner in a hospital servicing a patient room use different colored cloths for different surfaces. She was careful to take a cloth from her pile of clean cloths, dip it in a disinfectant solution and use all eight sides effectively before placing the used cloth in a laundry bag. It would not have been practical to spray aerosol type products in a patient room since there was always the possibility of IAQ (indoor air quality) issues.
I learned later that all the microfiber cloths at that location has been treated with anti-microbial products and were laundered separately to reduce the chance of cross contamination. Cloths were inspected one by one and any soiled/stained cloths were set aside for other use or disposal. As I understand the intent, it is very important that microfiber cloths used in an aseptic setting should be anti-microbial and laundered in such a way to maintain these properties. I suggest you consult with your cloth and chemical vendors to determine the correct way to maintain the anti-microbial properties. Be careful about allowing them to be used in different areas.
Microfiber can be an effective tool in the sanitizing and disinfecting process. Keeping them clean is very important.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.