Study: Number of Swipes More Important Than Disinfectant Type for Eliminating Bacteria

Swiping a plastic surface three times effectively reduced bacteria regardless of the type of disinfectant used, according to a study conducted by a team at the University of Alberta, Canada, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

Researchers tested disinfectant protocol for petri dishes infected with either Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococci or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They found that on average, swiping the plates three times reduced bacteria by 88 percent compared to one swipe regardless of the type of disinfectant — a simple saline wipe or a disinfectant wipe.

Swiping the plate one time, however, was more effective when disinfectant wipes were used rather than simple saline wipes. Swiping the plates five times was not significantly more effective than swiping three times.

Read the University of Alberta report on disinfectants.

Read more coverage on infection control:

- AHRQ Issues Results of Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture

- APIC Announces Support for HHS's National Quality Strategy

- Infection Prevention Rounds: 15 Items to Address

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