Mopping Up the Floor with Germs

A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (“Are hospital floors an under-appreciated reservoir for transmission of health care-associated pathogens?”) found:

  • Patient room floors were often contaminated with pathogens linked to Hospital Acquired Infections or HAIs.
  • High-touch objects (HTOs) may be in direct contact with the floor.
  • Touching objects on the floor often caused transfer of pathogens to hands.
  • germs on floors need disinfecting
  • Hospital floors need disinfecting

Spreading Germs on Floors

In the article, From the Floor Up—The Battle to Control HAIs, by David Harry and Jack McGurk, MPA:

“Pathogens are consistently introduced to the floor by shoes, transport equipment such as wheelchairs and beds, treatment devices or computer carts, and non-slip patient socks that traverse the floors and frequently [[transmit germs]] directly into a bed [[85% of socks in one study harbored VRE.]]”

A 2017 study in five Cleveland hospitals showed 44% of discharged-patient-room floors were contaminated with C Diff, hardy bacteria causing HAIs, after cleaning and 53% during the patient stay. In 100 occupied rooms, 41% had HTOs like blood pressure cuffs, heating pads, and bed sheets, touching the floor.

The Mop: Friend or Fomite?

Both. Mops remove soils, but also spread them along with pathogens: even after washing. A study of 20 microfiber flat mops in 11 hospitals found nearly one-in-three contaminated—after laundering.

Per Harry and McGurk: “There is a consistent potential for cross-contamination on and across the floor by an item expected to be clean and often handled without gloves, a freshly laundered mop.”

Mops apply EPA-Registered disinfecting chemicals, create exposure and disposal issues, use gallons of water, and both conventional and microfiber mop fibers neutralize or “bind” disinfectants to varying degrees.

Proper dwell time is complicated by these and factors such as application error (not leaving the surface wet long enough) and safety issues; drying floors quickly for foot traffic works against proper dwell per label-use requirements.

Dry Steam to the Floor Disinfecting Rescue

Peer-reviewed TANCS® dry steam vapor (DSV) applies hot, low-moisture steam via an insulated floor tool to clean and disinfectant both floor and applicator:

  • Killing floor-based HAIs and germs in the applicator in just 3-7 seconds of contact without standard “dwell”, while stopping cross-contamination.
  • Eliminating chemical exposure concern as the active-ingredient is tap water converted to 6% moisture steam without added chemicals.
  • Raising floor safety as the treated surface is dry to the touch in seconds.
  • Conserves water as the system uses only a quart or two in a typical shift.

Mopping Up the Floor with Germs – the Right Way

Isn’t it time you stopped mopping up the floor with germs in a harmful sense, by switching to a method proven in hospitals to destroy germs without harm to people, planet, or profits?