Evaluation of the decontamination efficacy of new and reprocessed microfiber cleaning cloth compared with other commonly used cleaning cloths in the hospital

Am J Infect Control. 2010 May;38(4):289-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2009.09.006. Epub 2010 Jan 31.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the decontamination capacity of 4 different types of cleaning cloths (microfiber cleaning cloth, cotton cloth, sponge cloth, and disposable paper towels) commonly used in hospital in their ability to reduce microbial loads from a surface used dry or wet in new condition. All of the cloths except disposable paper towels were also compared after 10 and 20 times of reprocessing, respectively, at 90 degrees C for 5 minutes in a washing machine.

Methods: Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538) and Escherichia coli (ATCC 8739) were used as test organisms. Test organisms were then added to a test soil (6% bovine serum albumin and 0.6% sheep erythrocytes) resulting in a controlled concentration of 5 x 10(7) colony-forming units per milliliter in the final test suspension. Standardized tiles measuring 5 x 5 cm were used as test surface.

Results: Microfiber cloths showed the best results when being used in new condition. However, after multiple reprocessing, cotton cloth showed the best overall efficacy.

Conclusion: We therefore suggest that the choice of the cleaning utilities should be based on their decontamination efficacy after several reprocessings and recommend the establishment of strict and well-defined cleaning and disinfection protocols.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Decontamination / methods*
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Housekeeping, Hospital / methods*
  • Humans
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification