Laundering to kill Germs: Microbiological Decontamination of Textiles

Dr Katie Laird | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

About this guide

With rises in Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) and antibiotic resistance, understanding possible transmissions routes of bacteria is paramount. One such route could be through textiles.

In the school or nursery environment items such as hand towels shared by children or textiles found in the kitchen environment should also be decontaminated thoroughly as a standard infection control procedure.

This guide presents the findings of an investigation on the ability of bacteria to survive on textile fibres and textiles as a potential cross contamination route for bacteria to other surfaces, hands or people. In addition, the correct parameters for decontaminating textile items via domestic laundering was assessed, the findings could be applied to the decontamination of textiles from healthcare, nursery or school environments.  This guide can also be used to teach secondary students background knowledge about contamination sources of bacteria and infection control practices.