Germicidal detergents are an important tool for Sterile Processing Departments. They may be used for delicate items that cannot be processed through thermal disinfection in washer disinfectors. Germicidal is a generic term for “germ killing”. The terms germicidal, disinfectant and antimicrobial may be used interchangeably.
A sales representative may make verbal claims that a detergent “kills” pathogens such as VRE or MRSA. This may be verified by looking at the product label for EPA registration. If the department process and device require germicidal action when thermal washer disinfection is not possible, the product or chemical must have EPA registration and preferably TB kill. Germicidal detergents or cleaner/disinfectant products should also state application and instructions for cleaning on the label.
Another issue is material compatibility. Look at both the label and section 3 of the product SDS (Safety Data Sheet) to find chemicals. Then check the device instructions (IFU) to determine if any of the chemicals are incompatible or corrosive according to the IFU such as bleach, ammoniums and peroxides. High alcohol content acts like a fixative on protein, making it harder to clean off blood if a high alcohol disinfectant cleaner is used before the item is completely clean.
ProSpray™ disinfectant / cleaner is a helpful tool for Sterile Processing. ProSpray products from Certol International are available in ready to use, concentrate and wipes. They are EPA registered, water-based and an effective disinfectant / cleaner with less than 5% alcohol. ProSpray products are also gentle and broadly compatible with most materials.