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ICAN/ATEX: How can I determine if my disinfectant cleaner is doing its job?

February 13, 2013

Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Wednesday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

Is there a sure way to find out if a floor and surface disinfectant cleaner is doing the job that it should do?

Wednesday’s Answer:

Yes, there are ways to measure these performance aspects.

ATP Meteradenosine triphosphate (ATP) measurement devices can detect residual soil in the form of living or once-living organisms.

After cleaning, swabbing the surface and measuring for ATP will tell you how much organic matter – alive or dead – remains.

However, this is really a way to measure cleaning efficacy rather than sanitizing/disinfecting performance re: inactivation of live microbes; still it does serve as a useful barometer of “clean” or hygienic (if there is less organic matter present, there will be less microbial growth).

To determine whether you are leaving specific live or growing microbes on the surface, you will need other measurement tools such as bacterial cultures using growth  … - Allen P. Rathey, president of The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI).

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