Ecolab is serious about innovation: Disinfectant 1 Wipe is just the start

Environmental hygiene and infection prevention have always been top priorities in healthcare. These issues, however, have taken on even greater importance during the pandemic.

In response, health systems have embraced a variety of measures to hinder the spread of SARS-CoV-2, ranging from the expanded use of personal protective equipment to more thorough cleaning of hospital rooms, examination spaces, operating rooms and more.

Ecolab understands these concerns very well. The company has a long history of working closely with health systems, hospitals and other organizations to deploy repeatable and pragmatic approaches to facility cleaning.

Becker’s Hospital Review recently spoke with two experts from Ecolab about the company’s new product — Disinfectant 1 Wipe¹ — and the company’s strategic focus on the wipes product category:

  • Hank Carbone, director of healthcare marketing, Ecolab
  • Ryan Rensvold, vice president and general manager of Global Wipes, Ecolab

Ecolab’s Disinfectant 1 Wipe — a new cleaning solution from a trusted company

Ecolab launched its new Disinfectant 1 Wipe amid the COVID-19 pandemic — and the product couldn’t have come at a more necessary time. “We developed this product specifically with the healthcare environment in mind,” Mr. Carbone said. “A key feature of the Disinfectant 1 Wipe is the 30-second kill time for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a 60-second kill time for 43 other organisms. It has claims against key organisms that cause hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA, VRE², Norovirus and Candida auris.”

Wipes in the Healthcare (HC) space often formulated as quaternary or quaternary/alcohol wipes. Disinfectant 1 Wipe contains 0.29% dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid. This means the disinfectant evaporates more slowly, resulting in contact-time compliance. “If you use an alcohol-based disinfectant wipe, the alcohol can flash off very quickly, making it more difficult to achieve wet contact time requirements,” Mr. Carbone said. Ecolab engineered the innovative, broad-spectrum solution used in Disinfectant 1 Wipe to kill organisms and for the general cleaning and disinfecting of hard, nonporous surfaces.

The pre-saturated wipes offer grab-and-go simplicity: once a wipe is pulled through the canister lid, it can be used as a one-step solution³ for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, which saves time for healthcare staff and speeds patient room turnover. While PPE has become the norm in healthcare environments, Disinfectant 1 Wipe doesn’t require the use of safety glasses and gloves. The product also has a fresh scent, unlike some cleaning solutions that leave a harsh disinfectant odor behind.

The polypropylene substrate used for Disinfectant 1 Wipe was another area of focus for Ecolab’s product developers. “The substrate is very important,” Mr. Carbone said. “It must catch and hold soils well, and it must absorb and release the right amount of disinfectant solution to ensure good coverage. Durability was also an important substrate consideration. We didn’t want the wipes to shred, fall apart or leave fibers behind after use.”

Although Disinfectant 1 Wipe is a cleaning product that is new to the market, Ecolab has been a key player in hospital surface disinfection for decades. “Ecolab isn’t a new company entering this market,” Mr. Carbone said.

“We have a long history of providing highly differentiated and proven efficacious surface disinfection solutions to the healthcare market.”

Ecolab is committed to continued investment and innovation in wipes

Ecolab sees wipes as a product platform that will continue to grow. Broad spectrum disinfectants with short kill times have always been important in healthcare, but the pandemic has opened new inroads into other verticals. As Mr. Carbone noted, “Wipe products are incredibly important today. Coming out of the pandemic, many markets are looking for quick and efficient surface disinfection. We view this as a big opportunity to contribute positively by delivering highly differentiated solutions.”

Mr. Rensvold heads up Ecolab’s Global Wipes business, which is a new strategic business unit focused on global opportunities. The expanding market for wipes was one reason for creating this new organization, but the supply chain issues that arose during the pandemic were another motivator.

“Having a more focused value chain and owning more of that value chain enables us to control our own destiny,” Mr. Rensvold said. “We’re elevating our capabilities and capacity in wipes manufacturing. This will allow us to maintain consistent supplies to our customers and create a more resilient supply chain that can respond quickly to shifts in demand.”

In addition, Ecolab is innovating its wipes business in a variety of ways. The company is exploring new product formats, new formulations for its disinfecting solutions and new approaches that will result in more sustainable products.

“Labor constraints at the end-user level are more important now than they’ve ever been,” Mr. Rensvold said. “It’s very important for us to provide products that can be used quickly and with very little training. To that end, we plan to continue investing in new wiping formats.”

The product development team is continually evaluating emerging pathogens, so technologies can evolve as the pathogens do. “Sustainability is also a huge consideration,” Mr. Rensvold added. “We want to offer solutions that kill pathogens, while having a positive impact on the environment.”

Conclusion

Ecolab is the industry leader in infection prevention solutions. Its state-of-the-art chemistry and product development help hospitals around the world maintain clean, healthy and safe environments. When used as part of a comprehensive environmental hygiene program, Disinfectant 1 Wipe is an effective tool for supporting quick patient room turnover and helping prevent hospital-acquired infections. These are objectives that all health systems can get behind.

 

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