Tips To Selecting Soaps And Sanitizers, CleanLink

Hand hygiene continues to show up on the public’s radar as one of the key ways to prevent the spread of communicable illness. More soap and sanitizing products are available on the market than ever before, catering to a variety of facilities, budgets and populations.

Weeding through the offerings can be challenging for busy managers, which is why jan/san distributors are ready and willing to help.

“It’s certainly within the realm of the distributor to demonstrate to custodial managers the benefits of installing the proper soap system based on what they want their desired outcome to be, providing health and sanitation inside the facility,” said one product manufacturer.

Soap And Sanitizing Dispensing

From the traditional liquid or gel bulk-fill soaps to the more modern sealed cartridges, dispensing options haven’t changed much in recent years. Low-traffic facilities may be more likely to use the less expensive bulk soap. However, hermetically sealed cartridges provide a distinct advantage to bulk soaps in that they are not subject to contamination.

“A study by the University of Arizona found that since the air interacts with the soap as you’re pouring it, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria,” says Dan Josephs, general manager at Spruce Industries in Garwood, N.J. “When they tested the soap coming out of bulk-fill dispensers, they found they were very contaminated. You’re better off washing your hands with water when you see those dispensers.”

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For that reason, Josephs typically recommends facility executives implement soaps that are available in sealed cartridges. These offerings are not exposed to air or other elements, eliminating their potential for contamination.

However, as long as there are still facility managers who prioritize being economical about their purchases, there will continue to be plenty of facilities that use bulk-fill systems — not that all decisions come down to money.

For instance, in a high-end facility, managers may want to create a specific perception. To do so, they may implement a beautiful bulk-fill dispenser that is filled with the most pearlized, rich emollient luxury hand soap available. Distributors comment that this high-end soap comes at a price, but to facility managers, the perception is more important than the savings departments may find by using sealed soap and dispensers.

In the case of high-traffic facilities, distributors comment that functionality and dollars drive purchases. Foam soaps that dole out more hand washes and touch-free dispensers are gaining market space.

LISA RIDGELY is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits magazine, a sister publication to Facility Cleaning Decisions.


Identifying and Using Hospital-Grade Disinfectants,

Identifying And Using Hospital-Grade Disinfectants

  • By Corinne Zudonyi, Editor 

This Manufacturer Roundtable took the compilation of questions Facility Cleaning Decisions received from in-house custodial professionals and posed them directly to cleaning industry manufacturers. Here are their responses:

Jason Welch
Spartan Chemical Co. Inc.
Maumee, Ohio

Sara Snow
Senior Scientist
Clorox Professional Products Company
Oakland, Calif.

Q: In a hospital setting, in what situations should workers use disinfecting agents versus cleaning/sanitizing chemicals?

Welch — The CDC has published guidelines for determining if a surface or area needs to be disinfected.  Most surfaces (lobby areas and hallways) only need to be cleaned with a good detergent unless a special situation occurs, such as a bodily fluid spill, at which time cleaning staff should follow the guidance of OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard.

Snow — Different products offer different levels of decontamination, appropriate for different situations:
•    Sterilizers (also known as sporicides) eliminate all bacteria and fungi, their spores, and viruses.  These products should be used on critical instruments that come in contact with sterile body tissues.
•    Disinfectants kill microorganisms, but not necessarily their spores, and should be used on hard, inanimate, non-porous surfaces and semi-critical (contact mucus membranes) and non-critical (contact intact skin, environmental surfaces) objects in healthcare settings.
•    Sanitizers reduce microorganisms (but do not necessarily eliminate them) to meet the levels considered safe as determined by health codes and regulations. Sanitizers should be used as labeled for food contact or non-food contact surfaces.
•    Cleaning refers to the physical removal of soil and germs by washing or wiping to lift dirt and germs off of surfaces.

Q: What is the difference between a standard cleaner/disinfectant and one deemed hospital-grade?

Welch — This is defined by the EPA under: DIS/TSS-1 Jan 22, 1982 EFFICACY DATA REQUIREMENTS Disinfectants for Use on Hard Surfaces
•    A cleaner is a product that does not make any antimicrobial claims or pesticide claims.
•    A product cannot make a claim against an organism without testing it first and requires EPA approval of the data.
•    A “Hospital Grade” Disinfectant only requires 2 organisms to be tested: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.
•    A one step disinfectant cleaner is an EPA registered disinfectant that has been tested in 5% blood serum.

Snow — Standard disinfectants are those found in household cleaning closets and are able to kill common bacteria.

Hospital disinfectants are EPA-registered for use in hospitals, clinics, dental offices, and other medical facilities, and must kill microorganisms often found in healthcare, including S. aureus, S. enterica and P. aerugionsa. Hospital disinfectants should be used on medical equipment and on environmental surfaces as part of a bundled infection prevention approach. Low, intermediate, and high-level disinfectants can be used in healthcare settings:
•    Low-Level Disinfectants are EPA-registered hospital disinfectants that are effective for vegetative bacteria, most fungi, and most viruses. Typical active ingredients include quaternary ammonium (quats) or phenols.
•    Intermediate-Level Disinfectants are EPA-registered hospital disinfectants that are effective against TB, vegetative bacteria, fungi and viruses, and some may have spore claims.  Typical active ingredients include 70-90% alcohol, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, phenols, or some quats.
•    High-Level Disinfectants fall under FDA jurisdiction. They are effective against TB, bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and some, but not all, spores. Typical active ingredients include glutaraldehyde, OPA, hydrogen peroxide, or peracetic acid.  These are required for instruments that come in contact with mucus membranes (bronchoscopes, endoscopes), but do not enter sterile body tissues.


New Operating System Makes It Possible to Clean Twice As Much For Less
PORTLAND, OR  – OCT 29, 2013 — Intellibot Robotics LLC (“Intellibot”) is pleased to make three major announcements: 1) the introduction of the Hydro 17℠ machine, 2) a new Hands-Free Cleaning℠ Operating System, and 3) the Intelli-Trak℠ remote monitoring system.  Intellibot is the sole U.S. manufacturer of Hands-Free (robotic) commercial floor cleaners.
“We are very excited about our three new technological advances,” said Erick Frack, President.  “We have a new Hands-Free scrubber called Hydro 17℠ which is a smaller version of the HydroBot – a scrubber for hard surfaces.”  Frack noted that the new scrubber has a 17” cleaning swath so is perfect for cleaning floors in smaller areas – aisles and hallways – in buildings such as schools, hospitals, hotels, and retail stores. (See image below.)
“We are also announcing our new Hands-Free Cleaning℠ operating system,” Frack continued.  “This new system means you can quickly switch from manual to Hands-Free operation at the touch of a button, and simply walk away.”  Frack noted that the new system allows for:
  • ·       true multi-tasking – one person can accomplish twice the work
  • ·       better cleaning – the machines consistently clean the same area, at the same speed, with the same overlapping coverage, every time, every day
  • ·       reduced cost – double, triple or quadruple productivity without increasing labor, which means cost per square foot is dramatically reduced
“Finally, we have a new remote monitoring software system called Intelli-Trak℠ which provides real-time reports noting who ran the machine, time it ran, areas cleaned, duration, and any problems,” added Frack.  He noted that Intelli-Trak℠ monitoring allows for remote diagnostics and repairs that reduce down time and service fees.
The new Hands-Free Cleaning℠ machine and new Operating System advancements will be on display at the upcoming ISSA trade show in Las Vegas, Nov. 19-21.
About Intellibot Robotics
Intellibot Robotics is the sole U.S. manufacturer of Hands-Free Cleaning℠ commercial floor cleaners.  A privately held company, Intellibot maintains engineering and manufacturing operations in Richmond, VA; a corporate office in Portland, OR; and sales and service teams throughout the U.S.  With more than 20 years of robotics research and development, Intellibot has emerged as an industry leader featuring a full line of technologically advanced Hands-Free Cleaning℠ solutions.  For more information, please visit
Intellibot’s new Hydro 17 — a smaller version of the HydroBot — is a Hands-Free Cleaning℠ scrubber for hard surfaces.  The new machine is ideal for hallways and aisles in locations such as schools, hospitals, grocery stores and hotels.  The Hydro 17℠ will be available for distribution in Q3 2014.
Intellibot Hand-Free Scrubber