Disinfecting Operating Room


I was recently asked by an OR nurse what disinfecting solutions would I recommend for the cleaning and disinfection of the operating room as she felt that the method that was being used at her hospital was outdated and may not be up-to-date with the disinfecting solutions available today and good practice.

I did a little browsing and found some information that had me too concerned. I found some recommendations including "bleach" as a solution :eek::uhoh3::crying2:. My limited knowledge of bleach is that it has no place in an operating room, regardless of the concentration. Sure it does a good job of being an effective kill but micro organisms are not the only things it kills very well. It kills all your equipment just as efficiently, regardless of how much you dilute it. From stainless steel to plastics, OR tables to anesthetic machines, all start to pit and corrode away once bleach is introduced. Phenols seems to be out too especially where pediatrics are concerned.

I was wondering what other hospitals are using to disinfect their operating rooms. At the start of the day, between cases and at the end of the day, after infectious cases? I was looking at such products as Cavicide, both the wipes and solutions and wondering if this is suitable for use in the OR? It seems to cover all the bases.

Is formaldehyde still used? Are some still using foggers? It would be great if we could get a thread with information from various members on what their institutions use, used, issues, etc., both in the OR and throughout the hospital (area specific).

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,442 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

We have a few different types of disinfectant wipes, the same ones that are used throughout the hospital, although I'm not sure what kind they are. One specialty uses a quaternary sanitizer in between cases. All rooms are terminally cleaned by housekeeping at the end of the day. We do use bleach once in a great while, but only for CJD cases.


36 Posts

Specializes in I.C.U,PERIOPERATIVE NURSING,BSN. Has 8 years experience.

In my facility we use Savlon (centrimide) Solution 1:30

Chlohexidine Gluconate.

for our turnover and terminal cleaning, for the weekly or monthly cleaning , more stronger solutions or concentration are used.

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

We use Metrigard. It kills just about anything.