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Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008

Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 [PDF - 948 KB]

Table 2. Properties of an ideal disinfectant.

Broad spectrum: should have a wide antimicrobial spectrum
Fast acting: should produce a rapid kill
Not affected by environmental factors: should be active in the presence of organic matter (e.g., blood, sputum, feces) and compatible with soaps, detergents, and other chemicals encountered in use
Nontoxic: should not be harmful to the user or patient
Surface compatibility: should not corrode instruments and metallic surfaces and should not cause the deterioration of cloth, rubber, plastics, and other materials
Residual effect on treated surfaces: should leave an antimicrobial film on the treated surface Easy to use with clear label directions
Odorless: should have a pleasant odor or no odor to facilitate its routine use
Economical: should not be prohibitively high in cost
Solubility: should be soluble in water
Stability: should be stable in concentrate and use-dilution
Cleaner: should have good cleaning properties
Environmentally friendly: should not damage the environment on disposal
Modified from Molinari1035.


Table 3. Epidemiologic evidence associated with the use of surface disinfectants or detergents on noncritical environmental surfaces.

Justification for Use of Disinfectants for Noncritical Environmental Surfaces
Surfaces may contribute to transmission of epidemiologically important microbes (e.g., vancomycin-resistant Enterococci, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, viruses)
Disinfectants are needed for surfaces contaminated by blood and other potentially infective material
Disinfectants are more effective than detergents in reducing microbial load on floors
Detergents become contaminated and result in seeding the patient's environment with bacteria
Disinfection of noncritical equipment and surfaces is recommended for patients on isolation precautions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Advantage of using a single product for decontamination of noncritical surfaces, both floors and equipment
Some newer disinfectants have persistent antimicrobial activity
Justification for Using a Detergent on Noncritical Environmental Surfaces
Noncritical surfaces contribute minimally to endemic healthcare-associated infections
No difference in healthcare-associated infection rates when floors are cleaned with detergent versus disinfectant
No environmental impact (aquatic or terrestrial) issues with disposal
No occupational health exposure issues
Lower costs
Use of antiseptics/disinfectants selects for antibiotic-resistant bacteria (?)
More aesthetically pleasing floor
Modified from Rutala378.

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