The Most Overlooked Step in Cleanroom Disinfectant Programs

Disinfectant programs for cleanrooms rely on more than the solvents themselves. Don’t overlook this important piece of the puzzle.

In our last article, we covered a six-step checklist for choosing disinfectants for your cleanrooms. When it comes to controlled environments, however, it’s necessary to create a disinfectant program.  While the solvents and solutions themselves are key, they will not do their jobs properly if you overlook another important element: the applicator.

One of the most overlooked steps in developing a disinfectant program is careful consideration of the proper tools used to apply the solution(s). This is a grave mistake. Using the wrong applicator can compromise the integrity of the active ingredients.

Even the smallest variables can cause improper disinfection surfaces. They can range from the fibers of the applicator to protocol for applying solutions. Of course, how facility workers interpret and implement protocols affect a disinfectant’s effectiveness, too.

Least Effective Materials

Studies support the conclusion that natural fibers generally make poor applicators for disinfectants. This is truer with certain solutions, like ready-to-use hypochlorite (bleach) and quaternary ammonium (quats). The active ingredients in these solutions will bind to natural fiber wipes and mops. This causes the solution to lose strength, rendering it ineffective in achieving the kill claims of the manufacturer.

Another down side to using natural fibers is that they are difficult to dry. If dried incorrectly, natural fibers can grow bacteria. This obviously compromises the efficacy of disinfection. If you must use natural fibers, choose single-use mops and wipes.

A Better Choice

On the other hand, synthetic products do not pose these problems. Materials like polyester and polypropylene don’t exhibit the binding phenomenon, so solvent strength is unaffected. Synthetic materials also do not pose the same opportunity for bacterial growth that natural fibers do.

Choosing the proper solution and the right applicator will help ensure you meet certification and validation. Questions about cleanroom validation, certification, or construction? Contact the experts at Gerbig Engineering Company. We’ve provided cleanroom services for 30 years. Call 888-960-0056 or email today.