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Evaluating Use of Neutral Electrolyzed Water for Cleaning Near-Patient Surfaces

  • M. Stewart (a1), A. Bogusz (a1), J. Hunter (a2), I. Devanny (a3), B. Yip (a1), D. Reid (a1), C. Robertson (a4) and S. J. Dancer (a2)...



This study aimed to monitor the microbiological effect of cleaning near-patient sites over a 48-hour period with a novel disinfectant, electrolyzed water.


One ward dedicated to acute care of the elderly population in a district general hospital in Scotland.


Lockers, left and right cotsides, and overbed tables in 30 bed spaces were screened for aerobic colony count (ACC), methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) before cleaning with electrolyzed water. Sites were rescreened at varying intervals from 1 to 48 hours after cleaning. Microbial growth was quantified as colony-forming units (CFUs) per square centimeter and presence or absence of MSSA and MRSA at each site. The study was repeated 3 times at monthly intervals.


There was an early and significant reduction in average ACC (360 sampled sites) from a before-cleaning level of 4.3 to 1.65 CFU/cm2 at 1 hour after disinfectant cleaning (P <.0001). Average counts then increased to 3.53 CFU/cm2 at 24 hours and 3.68 CFU/cm2 at 48 hours. Total MSSA/MRSA (34 isolates) decreased by 71% at 4 hours after cleaning but then increased to 155% (53 isolates) of precleaning levels at 24 hours.


Cleaning with electrolyzed water reduced ACC and staphylococci on surfaces beside patients. ACC remained below precleaning levels at 48 hours, but MSSA/MRSA counts exceeded original levels at 24 hours after cleaning. Although disinfectant cleaning quickly reduces bioburden, additional investigation is required to clarify the reasons for rebound contamination of pathogens at near-patient sites.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1505–1510


Corresponding author

Department of Microbiology, Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire G75 8RG, United Kingdom (


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