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How Are Hospital Curtains Cleaned?

Hygiene is a top priority in health care facilities. Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities have protocols for sanitizing or disinfecting equipment and other materials.  They also have to disinfect high-touch surfaces such as bed frames, rails, IV poles, counters, etc. Hospitals should ensure that they reduce the risk of Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) to the barest minimum.

Another example of high-touch surfaces in the hospital is privacy curtains. Privacy curtains come in frequent contact with medical staff, patients, and visitors. Special attention has to be paid to privacy curtains for hospitals because they can harbor multi-drug resistant pathogens. This means that these materials have to be cleaned or sterilized regularly.  Hospitals also need stringent policies for changing, cleaning, and disposing of curtains.

Hospitals use two types of curtains; reusable and disposable curtains. Although these two serve the same purpose, they are not equal in performance. In this article, you will learn how privacy hospital curtains are cleaned.

Cleaning procedure.

Hospitals and other health care facilities follow a strict procedure for changing and cleaning curtains. If a curtain is visibly stained, the cleaning staff needs to remove and launder it immediately.

The time it takes for the curtains to be taken down may also depend on the patient in the enclosed area.  Hospitals use a different protocol for patients diagnosed with multi-drug resistant bacteria or viruses such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C-diff), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).  Curtains in this category have to be removed upon discharging the patient.

The cleaning process.

How often do medical facilities clean their curtains?

How often medical facilities clean their curtains depend on their policies. Some hospitals clean them quarterly (every three months), while some clean their curtains semi-annually or annually.  Hospitals are advised to clean or disinfect the privacy fabrics as frequently as possible to mitigate the spread of infection. Hospitals use a variety of methods to effectively kill pathogens on fabric surfaces. These processes involved washing with detergent/disinfectants, steaming, bleaching, and souring (rapidly changing pH to kill microbes).

Disposable curtains eliminate the need for washing.

Washing and disinfecting hospital curtains can be a tedious task for staff. In some cases, human error occurs during the inspection, handling, and cleaning; and this can increase the risk of cross-contamination among staff and patients. Disposable privacy curtains for hospitals are cost-effective and reduce the chance of human error during the processes mentioned above. They are easy to dismount and install and do not have to be laundered.  Quality disposable curtains are also better at fighting off microbes than regular fabric curtains, thanks to their anti-microbial coating.


Cleaning and sterilizing hospital curtains are crucial to keeping patients, staff, and visitors safe, and removing them when due can reduce the risks of HAIs. It also helps to extend the useful life of reusable curtains. Although reusable curtains are great, disposable curtains are better for controlling the spread of bacteria and reducing the risk of infections.  The design and aesthetic appeal of the curtain should also be taken into consideration. A quality privacy curtain is clean, durable, and beautiful.

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