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Healthcare Purchasing News: Study finds novel ionic silver treatment decreases up to 100% of Staph aureus contamination of hospital linens


A peer-reviewed study titled “Reduction in bacterial contamination of hospital textiles by a novel silver based laundry treatment” was published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC). The study’s authors looked across three different community hospitals at the effectiveness of SilvaClean, a new ionic silver antimicrobial applied to linens after each washing.

Addressing environmental cleanliness through textiles is a critical issue for hospitals. Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are potentially lethal for patients and pose significant financial risks for hospitals. According to a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report, hospital acquired HAIs kill nearly 200 people in the U.S. every day and affect 1 in 25 hospital patients. These numbers do not include infections acquired at skilled nursing, long-term acute care and outpatient surgery facilities.

Published research shows that 60% of hospital staff uniforms were colonized with potentially pathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant organisms such as the superbugs MRSA and CRE, and a separate published research paper shows 55% of clean bed linens were contaminated before contact with the patient. Contracting MRSA increases a patient’s chance of acquiring a staph infection within the following 12 months.

The new peer-reviewed study in AJIC compares SilvaClean treated hospital sheets and patient gowns to untreated hospital sheets and patient gowns both before and after patient use.

The authors found that treating sheets and gowns with SilvaClean resulted in decreases in microbial contamination before patient use of 88% and 89% respectively. SilvaClean was found to be persistent, reducing total bacterial counts by 30% on sheets and 45% on gowns after patients had used them. SilvaClean treatment of the textiles resulted in 100% decreases of Staphylococcus aureus on sheets and gowns before patient use and decreases after patient use of 74% on sheets and 89% gowns.

To learn more about SilvaClean, please visit

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