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Microbiologic evaluation of microfiber mops for surface disinfection

  • William A. Rutala
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to William A. Rutala, PhD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases, Bioinformatics Building, 130 Mason Farm Road, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7030.
    Affiliations
    Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill, NC

    Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Maria F. Gergen
    Affiliations
    Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • David J. Weber
    Affiliations
    Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Health Care System, Chapel Hill, NC

    Division of Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC
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      Background

      Recently, health care facilities have started to use a microfiber mopping technique rather than a conventional, cotton string mop to clean floors.

      Methods

      The effectiveness of microfiber mops to reduce microbial levels on floors was investigated. We compared the efficacy of microfiber mops with that of conventional, cotton string mops in 3 test conditions (cotton mop and standard wringer bucket, microfiber mop and standard wringer bucket, microfiber system). Twenty-four rooms were evaluated for each test condition. RODAC plates containing D/E Neutralizing Agar were used to assess “precleaning” and “postcleaning” microbial levels.

      Results

      The microfiber system demonstrated superior microbial removal compared with cotton string mops when used with a detergent cleaner (95% vs 68%, respectively). The use of a disinfectant did not improve the microbial elimination demonstrated by the microfiber system (95% vs 95%, respectively). However, use of disinfectant did significantly improve microbial removal when a cotton string mop was used (95% vs 68%, respectively).

      Conclusion

      The microfiber system demonstrated superior microbial removal compared with cotton string mops when used with a detergent cleaner. The use of a disinfectant did not improve the microbial elimination demonstrated by the microfiber system.
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