Surfaces and chemicals: The cornerstones of a successful hospital cleanliness strategy

A successful hospital cleanliness strategy will keep infections at bay
Photo by CC user presidenciamx on Flickr

We’re now at a stage where hospitals are cleaner, and more sterile, than ever before. Furthermore, thanks to advances in chemicals and general policies, the situation is only going to get better for patients hoping to stay healthy.

It has come to a point where hospitals are more than happy to invest in the appropriate sterilization and disinfection products. Armed with the knowledge that this is ultimately an investment which should improve patient recovery times, it’s seen as a no-brainer amongst hospitals around the country. It means the likes of CaviCide is in hot demand – medical establishments are in dire need of only the best cleaning products to improve their environment.

The upshot of all of the above is that fewer patients should contract the viruses that have been known to be caused by unsuitable environments.

However, while advancements in cleaning agents have undoubtedly helped the situation, something else that has aided things is the fact that there is a greater understanding amongst hospitals on how to clean their equipment and environment.

In fact, most establishments will demand that the relevant stakeholders fully understand the different chemicals and surfaces when it comes to cleaning. Having sufficient knowledge of these is crucial; some surfaces need to be cleaned at set intervals, while some chemicals are only suitable for certain tasks. Getting either of these areas wrong can spell disaster for a hospital cleanliness strategy.

Following on from the above, let’s take a look at the two areas in detail and show how hospitals are so keen on educating their employees about understanding each one.


When it comes to surfaces, the authorities state that there are two types; surfaces for medical equipment and housekeeping surfaces.

The former covers everything such as handles on machines or any other equipment, while housekeeping surfaces could include walls and the floor.

A lot of the time, the manufacturer instructions can be followed in relation to non-critical medical equipment. This will usually involve cleaning and intermediate-level disinfection, every time it has been used by a patient.

Housekeeping surfaces require more rigorous cleaning though. While a lot will depend on how much they are used, guidelines suggest that anything with frequent hand contact should be dealt with as much as possible. This is up to the facility to decide but the main message from this section is simple; not all surfaces are the same and each has to be treated differently.


By the same token, not all chemicals are the same.

A lot of the time hospitals will make decisions on chemicals based on the cost, safety and just how they are going to react with certain surface types.

Again, the manufacturer instructions for surfaces are going to be crucial here and generally, they will be followed to the letter.

It’s difficult to pinpoint anything specific here, as chemicals vary enormously in terms of harshness and some just won’t be suitable for every surface. However, once again, using the same chemical for each surface is certainly not the process to follow.