How should various types of fabric used in healthcare facilities be cleaned?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

In a health care facility, types of fabrics demand laundry can include;

  • Different fabrics material (Carpets and rugs cleaning, bed sheets and blankets and towels)
  • Clothing ( Medical staff Scrubs and uniforms, patient clothing, gowns, drapes for surgical procedures).

Even though contaminated textiles and fabrics in healthcare facilities can be a source of many pathogenic microorganisms, there are few reports of healthcare-related diseases that have been linked to contaminated fabrics. The overall risk of disease transmission during the laundry process is very low when these kinds of events are compared to the amount of laundry done in healthcare settings (estimated to be 5 billion pounds per year in the U.S.).

Existing control measures, such as "standard precautions," effectively lower the risk of patients and staff getting sick.

So, the current control measures should be implemented to keep the number of healthcare-related infections caused by contaminated laundry to a minimum.

The control measures in this part of the guideline are based on hygiene principles, common sense, and consensus advice. They apply to laundry services used by healthcare facilities, whether they are done in-house or through a contract service. They do not apply to laundry done at home.

There are two kinds of medical fabrics: those that are dirty and those that are infectious. The Department puts the infectious fabrics in orange plastic bags marked "biological hazard."

The dirty fabrics are put in cloth bags and then in bags made of cloth.

Protection workers use carts in the Department to move the fabrics to a temporary storage area in the general affairs office. In the Department, it is against the law to count them.

The proper method for cleaning infected fabrics

The cleaning and disinfection shall be categorized according to the kind and degree of contamination of medical fabrics. And the objects to be cleaned or disinfected, in line with the standard operating procedures for washing and disinfecting.

Every day, it gets washed. Machines should be able to clean themselves regularly. 

Fabrics that are dirty or could spread germs should be cleaned in groups. The fabric should be washed before it is used. Before cleaning, you should disinfect places where people have gotten infections like avian flu, prion, gas gangrene, and pan-resistant bacteria. You shouldn't wash medical fabrics with other fabrics.

The following steps are part of washing and cleaning:

  • Before you wash

First, wash the blood, pus, stool, and other organic matter with cold detergent or cold alkaline water. If it isn't cleaned first, it can be pre-washed again by adding disinfectant with metal chlorine. 

  • The main laundry

If the temperature is above 90°C for at least 30 minutes, rinse with clear water. When a medical fabric is washed in hot water, it doesn't usually need to be cleaned again. Infectious clothes should be soaked in a 500 mg/L disinfectant with effective chlorine for at least 30 minutes before being washed in one of the above ways.

  • To dry and finish

A clean car dryer takes the washed fabric to an area where it will be dried at a high temperature, ironed, and folded. Special people will be sent to the area to look at the properties, surface stains, damages, etc., remove them, rewash them, fix them, and then put them in order. 

  • Clean storage for fabrics

The place where you clean must have special shelves for storing things. The required distances between the shelves, floor, walls, and ceiling must be met. Once a day, the surface must be cleaned and sanitized. Clean up and stay dry. It is against the law to stack up useless things. It is against the rules to sleep or eat in the room. Always close the door to the storage room. The fabric will be given out based on the rule of "first in, first out." 

This article was written in cooperation with Caristal Hely