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).
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight
WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”