What role do textiles play in the spread of infection?

Healthcare textiles in the patient environment such as bed linen, gowns, and curtains can become contaminated and transmit harmful bacteria to patients. These textiles can become contaminated with pathogens in three ways; (1) improper reprocessing of textiles, (2) improper storage and handling during transportation and (3) microbial shedding from patients within the healthcare facility. It has been reported that up to 60% of hospital staff uniforms are colonized and 55% of samples from clean bed linen were contaminated before contact with the patients . Once textiles become contaminated, staphylococci and enterococci can survive for extended periods of time on materials allowing them to transmit the bacteria onto patients or other surfaces in the hospitals. Hospital linens that have been contaminated with mold have been reported to be the cause of several outbreaks resulting in death. (source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/health/moldy-hospital- bed-linen- deaths/)

What is SilvaClean® and how does it work?

SilvaClean is an antimicrobial textile treatment developed by Applied Silver. It is a service consisting of a microprocessor controlled system that applies pure ionic silver to your current textile inventory. It works on all natural and synthetic fibers and gets reapplied each time the item is laundered. Ionic silver is a natural antimicrobial that works to kill stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew using three (3) microbe-killing mechanisms: (1) inactivation of key enzymes such as those required for respiration, (2) disruption of the DNA process, and (3) damage of the cell wall. SilvaClean’s unique technology distributes the silver ions throughout the textile to provide ongoing antimicrobial protection across the entire textile surface before, during and after use.

What is an antimicrobial?

An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms (eg. bacteria, fungi, or virus) or prevents them from growing. There are two types: (1) Bactericides/Fungicide and (2) Bacteristats/Fungistat. Bactericides/Fungicides kill microorganisms that exist on a surface while bacteristats/fungistats only prevent bacteria from multiplying.

What type of antimicrobial is SilvaClean®?

SilvaClean is a bactericide and fungicide. It kills stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew.

What's the difference between SilvaClean® and other Bactericides/Fungicide?

SilvaClean is persistent. It continues to kill stain and odor causing bacteria, mold and mildew on fabrics before, during, and even after use. Most bactericides/fungicides require moisture (eg. sweat or urine) to be activated and are not persistent. SilvaClean continues to protect the fabric in between use and laundering when moisture is not present.

Why are hospitals adopting SilvaClean®?

First and foremost, reducing the level of bacteria, mold and mildew on linens throughout the linen use cycle may reduce the risk for infection transmission. SilvaClean also reduces odor in the hospital room and improves patient and healthcare worker satisfaction. It’s easy to sign up for SilvaClean. There is no need to train hospital staff or to overhaul existing linen inventory. Applied Silver works with your laundry provider to transform all of your textiles into antimicrobial textiles. Lastly, there is a significant cost savings and reduced waste and water usage when compared to disposable or silver threaded/embedded options. Curtains treated with SilvaClean can be laundered less frequently because of SilvaClean’s ability to keep curtains free of bacteria, mold, and mildew for longer.

Is SilvaClean® made from Nano silver?

No. The SilvaClean service utilizes pure ionic silver. Ions are the smallest form of silver and are an established standard of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

How are silver ions in SilvaClean® different from particulate and nano silver?

A silver ion is a silver atom minus an electron. The missing electron is what gives the silver ion its positive charge. An ion is already in its active state which provides several benefits over particulate and nano silver. For example, ions are more aggressive towards bacteria, mildew and mold than particulate or nano silver. They work against bacteria, mildew and mold in low moisture environments and work faster in high moisture environments.

How long does SilvaClean® last?

SilvaClean is stable in fabric and has shown efficacy in real-time stability studies over 4 years. However, during use, the silver ions in the treated fabric may become “used up”. When the fabric is re-laundered, it gets replenished with a fresh treatment of SilvaClean so you never have to worry about the textile remaining persistent.

Does SilvaClean® change the way the linen looks or feels? I’m happy with my current linen.

SilvaClean antimicrobial treatment does not change the way fabric looks, nor does it change the way it feels, and will improve the cleanliness of the fabric and reduce any odor attributed to microorganisms. In fact, it is impossible to tell that SilvaClean is present with the naked eye so Applied Silver has created a test kit, SilvaSure® that tests the treated textiles for the presence of SilvaClean.

Is there a risk of allergic reactions to SilvaClean®?

SilvaClean utilizes pure silver and there are no known allergic reactions to silver in this form. Perceived silver allergies such as those to sterling silver jewelry are actually reactions to other elements in the silver based alloy, most commonly nickel.

Is SilvaClean® environmentally friendly?

Yes. SilvaClean is a better option for the environment than disposable textiles as a solution for infection control because it significantly reduces waste and any residual silver ions in the waste water are at a level significantly below the EPA’s requirements.

Is SilvaClean® EPA Registered?

SilvaClean is approved by the US EPA as well as the EPA for each state. The active ingredient in SilvaClean is silver which is listed as a pesticide by the US EPA.

Is SilvaClean® compatible with all laundry formulas?

Yes. SilvaClean has been tested with several brands of detergent, bleach, sours, softeners, breaks, etc.

Is SilvaClean® safe to use in pediatric wards?

Yes, SilvaClean is approved by the EPA to be used for industrial use including use in all hospitals which include neonatal, pediatric, PICUs, etc.

Has SilvaClean® been tested to ensure it can be used with infants?

Yes. SilvaClean® is safe to use with infants. The exposure levels have been analyzed and approved by EPA to be safe for use with infants.

How can I justify the price of SilvaClean® to my organization?

The cost of treating your textiles with SilvaClean is about 50% less than using disposables. SilvaClean antimicrobial textile treatment is implemented in the laundering process on current linen inventory. No new textiles need to be purchased. SilvaClean does not require any new protocols or procedural changes unlike other technologies (e.g. copper hard surfaces, ultraviolet light machines, etc.). When compared to other infection prevention techonolgies as relative cost per patient day, SilvaClean is the cheapest option. For example, SilvaClean is more affordable than threaded/embedded antimicrobial textiles, copper hard surfaces, disposable textiles, UV light robots, hydrogen peroxide vapor machines and even bleach!

How does SilvaClean® compare to other antimicrobial textiles?

SilvaClean works. Other antimicrobial textiles on the market containing silver require moisture for their products to be activated and to work. SilvaClean is already in an active state to exhibit antimicrobial characteristics. In addition, unlike other antimicrobial textiles, the SilvaClean antimicrobial treatment never loses its ability to perform against bacteria. While competing products lose performance after laundering, SilvaClean® is reapplied during each laundering to ensure that performance is maintained.

What scientific data exists about textile contamination?

Click here to see our educational packet: Education Packet

Do you have an outcomes study?

Yes. A study was carried out in three community hospitals to measure the effectiveness of SilvaClean® on patient textiles. SilvaClean exhibited a reduction of microbial bioburden on patient textiles before and after use. In addition, it showed a reduction of MRSA and S. Aureus on patient gowns before and after use. Click here to find the study online: “Reduction in bacterial contamination of hospital textiles by a novel
silver-based laundry treatment”

Why are sports teams using SilvaClean®?

Infections are rampant among collegiate and professional sports teams including football, soccer, rugby and wrestling. Sports teams are using to improve the cleanliness of their textiles and gear impacting the athletic environment. Because SilvaClean addresses stain and odor causing bacteria in the textiles, locker room odor significantly decreases when SilvaClean is used.

Why do hotels use SilvaClean®?

SilvaClean creates a cleaner environment by keeping textiles free of odor and stain causing bacteria, mold and mildew and fungi. Dust Mites are a common issue for hotels. Dust Mites feed off fungus that is found in bed linen. Because SilvaClean kills fungus, it would also eliminate Dust Mites by removing their food source.Foul odors from smoking rooms are also a common issue for hotels. SilvaClean binds with nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco smoke, thus preventing foul odors from tobacco smoke.

Can I use SilvaClean® at home?

Applied Silver is working on a product for home use. It should be available in 2018. Stay tuned!

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