Tips on Using Boot Baths

Tips on Using Boot Baths

healthcare – anywhere where infection control is a very high priority.

May 3, 2016

Disinfectant boot baths are finding their way into many types of industries from farming and food service industries to healthcare – anywhere where infection control is a very high priority.

 A boot bath allows workers to step into an enclosed container that helps clean and disinfect shoes and shoe bottoms. Doing so reduces the potential of pathogens and contaminants traveling from one area of a facility to another.

"Boot baths are essential when raising livestock," says Adam Strizzi, marketing manager for Crown Matting Technologies, which manufacturers disinfectant boot baths along with a full-range of floor mat products. He cites a study by the University of California (Publication 8281) stating that in livestock and animal settings, "humans are often the sole reason for the spread of disease...[with] human footwear being the source of the problem."

The same can be true in scores of other settings. However, disinfectant foot baths must be used properly in order for them to help stop cross contamination.  

 Accordingly, Strizzi offers the following suggestions:

  • The disinfectant used must be properly diluted per manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Select disinfectants that kill the bacteria and viruses most likely present in your facility.
  • Some disinfectants lose their potency with sunlight, with extended use, or over time; change the disinfectant frequently.
  • Before stepping into the disinfectant booth bath, remove all debris from shoes and shoe bottoms.
  • With shoes immersed into the disinfectant solution, rub them against the mat installed at the bottom of the boot bath to help loosen and remove soils.
  • Be aware of dwell time; "Often workers step in and out of a boot bath as if they are walking. Instead, step into the boot bath for several seconds' even minutes, allowing the disinfectant to work properly.

"Disinfectant boot baths are not expensive but they can pay off immeasurably by stopping the spread of disease," adds Strizzi. "In some facilities, it may be prudent to have several boot baths installed to help stop the spread of disease."

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