| FAQ - Disinfection - Archived Through 2012
Is it acceptable to use bleach as a precleaner for surfaces followed by glutaraldehyde for surface disinfection?
Some sodium hypochlorite (bleach) formulations are suitable surface disinfectants. It is important to ensure that the chemical will not damage the materials on the equipment and surfaces being disinfected. Because bleach is effective for removal of blood or other organic soils, it may be used as both a cleaner and disinfectant.
Glutaraldehyde is a high-level disinfectant/sterilant that is highly irritating to the skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory system. It is a high-level instrument-immersion disinfectant and should never be used in an attempt to disinfect surfaces. Its vapors have been associated with cases of occupational asthma, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the all glutaraldehyde labels warn that the product should not be used outside a closed container.