Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Alcohol-based wipes significantly more effective than rubs

November 8, 2010
PITTSBURGH — Alcohol-based gels and hand rubs dominate the market for hand hygiene products, but that may start to change due to a new study conducted by Special Pathogens Laboratory (SPL) to determine which was more effective — wipes or rubs, according to a press release.
Published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the SPL study shows that wipes/towelettes saturated with alcohol are more effective than popular alcohol-based hand rubs in reducing some germs on hands, the release stated.
"Our study gives infection control professionals more information so they can make evidence-based decisions when evaluating hand sanitizer products," said Janet E. Stout, PhD, director of SPL and associate research professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.
"With more effective hand hygiene products, we stand a better chance in reducing hospital-acquired infections that result in 90,000 patient deaths and $4.5 billion in medical expenses annually," Dr. Stout added.
In addition to the wipe''s effectiveness against bacteria, the study also demonstrated the wipe is equal to or more effective in physically removing spores from the surface of contaminated hands than the ethanol alcohol-based hand rub, the release noted.
Click here to read the complete release.