Mat / Environmental Cleaning

Means to Reduce Transmission of Infectious Agents-Do they work?

  • Quaternary ammonium soaps.
     Effective and most commonly used.
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate 4%.
    Effective, but has specific uses and caution.1
  • Tea tree oil (Melaleuca).
    No studies performed. Extrapolated data indicates it may be effective but at concentrations that could cause skin irritation.3
  • Soap and water vs 70% isopropyl alcohol body wipe.
    Soap and water effective, isopropyl alcohol is not.2

  • Dimethicone (eg: KS Cream).
    Study shows no more effective than performing daily skin checks.4
  • Copper or silver impregnated.
    No studies performed, but questionable in ability to protect areas of uncovered skin.
  • Quaternary ammonium Impregnating clothing/towels.
    Study performed shows not effective.5
  • Cleansing surfaces
    • Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite).
      Effective, but environmental issues. Also short duration of protection from bacterial pathogens.6
    • Quaternary ammonium compounds.
      Effective and most commonly used. High residual activity to provide longer protection from bacterial pathogens. Unknown for fungal or viral pathogens.6
  • Coating surfaces
    • Silane Quaternary ammonium compounds:
      Study performed shows not effective.5
  1. Whitman T, et al. Inf Control Hosp Epid. 2010;31:1207-15.
  2. Anderson BJ. Clin J Sports Med. 2012
  3. Hammer K, et al. Food Chem Toxic. 2006;44:616-625.
  4. Hand J, Wrobble R. J Athl Train 1999;34(4): 350-352.
  5. Personal correspondence
  6. Young LM, et al. J Athl Train. 2017;52(2):82-88.