Surgical hand scrubs should remove microorganisms from health care professionals' hands and forearms and maintain the lowest possible microbial counts during surgical procedures. This study evaluated the immediate, persistent, and residual efficacy of five surgical hand scrub products. The two chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) products achieved significant immediate reduction in the microorganism count and demonstrated persistent and residual efficacy. The iodophor product exhibited effective immediate and persistent antimicrobial properties but failed to show significant residual effects. The parachlorometaxylenol products demonstrated low levels of immediate and persistent effects and no residual antimicrobial effects. The alcohol product demonstrated low immediate, persistent, and residual effects. The investigator concludes that CHG products are the most favorable surgical hand scrub preparations.