Whats the Best Procedures Or Products To Ensure That The Clothing Is Disinfected In A Hospital Setting
- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
Question: I'm the Infection Control Nurse in a psychiatric hospital. We have a contract with an outside facility to clean our linen, but patient clothing is handled in-house. There are washers and dryers on each unit to launder patient clothing. I'm concerned that the water temperature may not always be hot enough. We use powdered detergent and also have the powdered non-chlorine bleach available to use. We have purchased clothing such as sweats and scrubs for patients who may need extra clothing while hospitalized.
We want to be able to retain and reuse some of these clothes. What would be the best procedure and /or product for us to use to ensure that the clothing is disinfected? Is dry non-chlorine bleach effective enough? I will appreciate any information or suggestions you may have regarding this issue.
Answer: Reuse of patient clothing is standard in the hospital industry. With top load washers one has several options.
First, there are a number of retail products that have registration approval for sanitizing laundry. On the box you will find that the product has a kill rate of 99.9%, which is more than acceptable for the uses you mentioned.
Second, there are also final rinse sanitizers available from a retail store or a laundry chemical house. The product is added after proper washing and rinsing, and will again give the textiles a 99.9% kill of bacteria with a contact time generally around 5 minutes (again, check and follow the directions on the specific product label).
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