| FAQ - Sterilization - Archived Through 2012
Which technique is recommended: spray, wipe, spray or wipe, discard, wipe.
OSAP is not currently aware of any federal regulations that prohibit the use of the spray-wipe-spray technique. However, individual states, through state legislation or State Board Of Dental Examiners/Licensing Boards, could prohibit the use of disinfecting sprays.
OSAP is not in a position to maintain individual state laws/regulations, therefore, you should contact your State Board directly.
Links to state agencies that may be viewed at:
OSAP can provide you with the following general information concerning both techniques.
The Authors of OSAP's From Policy to Practice: OSAP's Guide to the Guidelines. offer the following information:
For pre-cleaning clinical surfaces:
Use a low to intermediate-level disinfectant and the "spray-wipe-spray” technique to clean and disinfect clinical contact surfaces. First clean, then disinfect. Spray the surface to be cleaned with a cleaner or cleaner/disinfectant. Then, wipe vigorously using paper towels. Once cleaned, spray the surface again, this time with a disinfectant. Cover the entire surface, and allow the disinfectant to remain undisturbed on the surface for the contact time indicated on its label. (1)
The authors also offer the following alternative to pre-cleaning clinical surfaces:
Wipe a pre-moistened cleaner-disinfectant towelette over the surface to be cleaned. Check the label to be sure that the wipe is a cleaner (some disinfectant wipes may require a separate cleaner). Carefully follow label instructions. Some wipes may be effective only on a limited surface area (approximately 3 sq. ft.). (1)
After cleaning, disinfect the surface:
Spray the disinfectant over the entire surface, using towels to reduce overspray. Let the surface remain moist for the contact time stated on the disinfectant's label. Wipe the surface dry if it is still wet when ready for patient care. (1)
The authors also offer the following alternative to spraying disinfectants on clinical surfaces:
Saturate the surface using a pre-moistened disinfectant towelette (wipe). Let the surface remain moist for the contact time stated on the disinfectant's label. Wipe the surface dry if it is still wet when ready for patient care. (1)
(1) From Policy to Practice: OSAP's Guide to the Guidelines. Copyright 2004 by OSAP.