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How Do You Test for Germs?
What we use to verify our cleaning systems are working.

With so much attention on cleaning, we were curious to see what was working. In a gym, we've got weights, tables, cables, bars, mats and machines. Each have surfaces covered with different materials that are touched by clients in numerous ways.

We also have bathrooms and locker rooms with toilets, sinks and showers. Not to mention the towels clients use, scales, thermometers and pulse oximeters.

Everyone is worried about COVID-19, and that's a valid concern. But there are a lot of things out there that can make you sick. Public spaces like restaurants and gyms have been known to spread Staph infections, E. coli, C. difficile and MRSA. We want to make sure we're keeping our clients safe from as many germs as possible.

Some clients asked, why don't you just spray everything down with Lysol and call it a day?

There were so many reasons. It has a strong smell, it has risen dramatically in price since the pandemic began and for months you couldn't find it in stock anywhere. Lysol has to stay wet on items for 10 minutes to work and it's not supposed to be used on surfaces that have food touching them. Besides, we didn't have a way of knowing if that was enough. We needed something to test how many germs were on surfaces.

We purchased a device called a “luminometer” to find out.

Hygiena Ensure Touch Luminometer
Hygiena Ensure Touch Luminometer

Some of the Important Things we Discovered

Time matters. We couldn't expect our trainers to spray everything our clients touch and keep those items wet for 10 minutes. We needed to be able to spray something once and have it sanitized in a minute or less. Products like 70% isopropyl alcohol in a misting bottle is an ideal solution.

Surfaces matter. Copper covered and hospital grade antimicrobial products were extremely effective at killing everything on them in as little as a couple hours, even if a trainer missed a spot while cleaning. But stainless steel and some leather coverings held germs for days. The only solution was to change those surfaces or cover them.

Disinfecting is most effective, when multiple methods are combined. Sanitizing sprays, disinfecting wipes and antimicrobial surfaces were very good. Adding an additional step with UV-C disinfection took our germ counts from low, to almost non-existent.

Nothing is perfect. But testing has shown us what works, and what was a waste of money. Before we had the ability to test surfaces we THOUGHT we were doing the right things. Now that we have nearly instant test results, we KNOW we're doing the right things.

To understand more about the luminometer device we use, we're posting this information from Hygiena. They make the luminometer we use to test our surfaces for germs.


How Hygiena ATP Cleaning Verification Products Work:

  • Hygiena's cleaning verification products can tell you in as little as 10 seconds if a surface has been cleaned properly using ATP.
  • ATP is an energy molecule found in all plant, animal and microbial cells. It fuels metabolic processes such as cellular reproduction, muscle contraction, plant photosynthesis, respiration in fungi, and fermentation in yeast. All organic matter (living or once-living) contains ATP, including food, bacteria, mold and other microorganisms.
  • Hygiena™ ATP testing devices contain a natural enzyme found in fireflies. This enzyme, called luciferase, produces a simple bioluminescence (lightproducing) reaction when it comes into contact with ATP. Using bioluminescence technology, our ATP Meters can measure extremely low levels of ATP collected with testing devices. Measuring the amount of bioluminescence from an ATP reaction provides an excellent indication of surface cleanliness because the quantity of light generated by the reaction is directly proportional to the amount of ATP present in the sample.

How Hygiena ATP Cleaning Verification Products can be used:

  • To track cleaning efforts and verify they have been effective.
  • To verify that high-touch areas in your facility have been cleaned properly
  • To verify hand-washing has been conducted effectively
  • To verify that common areas, meeting rooms, and offices have been cleaned according to standard. Click Here for the study:

Use of ATP Readings to Predict a Successful Hygiene Intervention
in the Workplace to Reduce the Spread of Viruses on Fomites

Laura Y. Sifuentes1 • Sonia L. M. Fankem1 • Kelly Reynolds1,2 • Akrum H. Tamimi1 •
Charles P. Gerba1 • David Koenig

It's important to know that ATP systems do not detect viruses directly. However, COVID-19 infected material that contains biological residues WILL be detected by an ATP system.


Click Here to return to the Cleaner Spaces Now Home Page.

On-site testing in Key West,
give us a call at (305) 294-7928.
The staff at WeBeFit will answer
and they can schedule your consultation.

7/15/2020
Updated 8/25/2020