We Use Reusable Hand Towels to Clean the Room After Patients. How Often Should Those Be Changed?

It is not recommended to use recyclable towels for hand hygiene in the dental setting. After every use of the towel it would have to be processed. In an interview with Dr. Chris Miller from OSAP he stated “Reusable cloth towels can harbor microbes that may not have been washed off your hands. If the towel is reused without washing, it can easily re-contaminate the cleaned hands of a subsequent user of the towel. Some microbes may be able to multiply on the moist towel and make things even worse.”  Safety Standards and Infection Control for Dental Assistants States “Never use clothe towels because they may also harbor germs with continued use and may be a source of cross-infection.”

Source: Safety Standards and Infection Control for Dental Assistants, Ellen Dietz, Delmar, 2002, page 35

Source: RDH article “It is easy being green” by Noel Kelsch RDHAP, http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-30/issue-9/columns/it-is-easy-being-green.html