Are Reusable Towels in Hospitals Actually Helping to Spread Germs?

One of the biggest concerns in healthcare facilities today is the prevention of Heath care Acquired Infections (HAI’s).  Infection Control experts are constantly seeking methods and products to improve the overall hygiene of hospital rooms.  However, a recent study done by Dr. Charles Gerba, microbiologist at University of Arizona,  shows that custodians might be doing the opposite of removing germs from the facilities threw the use of cotton and microfiber reusable towels.


The study selected 10 hospitals in Arizona at random and collected 3 clean microfibers or towels and samples from the insides of buckets used to soak the towels in disinfectants. The results proved that 93% of the laundered towels used to clean in hospitals contain bacteria ranging from e. coli to total coliforms to klebsiella – all of which could result in the spread of HAI’s.  The study also found that 67% of the buckets used to soak the towels contained bacteria, including spore forming strands. (The Study)

This proves that the towels used to clean hospital facilities are actually reducing the strength of our disinfectants and helping to spread germs around as opposed to eliminating them.  So how do you keep microfibers and cotton cloths effective for the longest period of time so that they actually do their job?  One solution to this problem to eliminate the use of laundered microfibers and cotton towels as much as possible. In their place, use products such as wet wipes, disposable wipers and disposable mircrofibers.

Contact Pike Systems today to receive a consultation for the most effective products to clean your facility!

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