Reinigung von Pumpen bei OPHARDT
Seifenspender müssen regelmäßig aufbereitet werden.

The best ways to reprocess pumps

New laboratory results from OPHARDT Hygiene show which steps for cleaning soap and sanitizer dispenser pumps are most effective from a microbiological perspective.

While the question of how to most effectively reprocess pumps comes up often, there is no exact recommendation from international or national organizations such as the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute (KRINKO) in Germany.

An ingo-man® with a stainless steel pump that needs to be reprocessed to best be able to help break the chain of infeciton.

Reprocess pumps with OPHARDT guidelines

Various studies prove that regular cleaning of hygiene dispensers and pumps is important. A team of researchers led by Dr. Sabine Gleich from the University Hospital of Fulda found that, in a study of of 100 soap dispensers, ten percent were contaminated with environmental germs [1]. French scientists even proved in a study that contaminated hand washing preparations in soap dispensers can even lead to outbreaks of infection [2].

Against the background of a lack of specifications on the part of the institutions, the ball is entirely in the court of the manufacturers of hand sanitizer and soap dispensers to recommend a series of cleaning steps for users.

In a recent laboratory study, OPHARDT Hygiene expanded its recommendations for reprocessing ingo-man® brand dosing pumps and backed them up with microbiological data. The examined reprocessing process of the stainless steel pumps included the following five steps:

  • 20x pump hot water through the pump
  • 20x pump sanitizer through the pump
  • 5 minutes of exposure time
  • 20x pump sanitizer through the pump
  • Insert the pump back into the dispenser and pump the filling material: soap, hand disinfectant or lotion

For the microbiological evaluation of the reprocessing procedure, scientists led by Dr. rer. nat. Julie Claudinon of OPHARDT Hygiene used typical Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria as test germs and contaminated the stainless steel pumps of the ingo-man® brand with a pathogen concentration of 1.2*109. In addition to the durable stainless steel pumps, which score particularly well in terms of sustainability, OPHARDT Hygiene also has recyclable disposable pumps in its range, which make reprocessing superfluous.

Now let’s look at the results. After going through the cleaning process of the stainless steel pumps, the bacteria concentration was reduced to 20 pathogens per milliliter which is a reduction of more than 7-log levels. Or in other words, a 99.99999% reduction.

Dr. Claudinon is very satisfied with the results and emphasizes,

“with the test results from the laboratory, we have developed a new standard for the reprocessing of stainless steel pumps and that makes hand hygiene even safer.”

In addition to the pump, the dispenser housing and the operating lever, if it is a Euro dispensers like the ingo-man®, must also be taken into account during reprocessing and cleaning. OPHARDT Hygiene has developed comprehensive instructions for the manual reprocessing of the entire dispenser system, which include the following steps, taking into account the new findings:

  • Wipe the pump barrel with a clean disposable cloth.
  • Cleaning the pump under running hot water—with special focus on the spout.
  • Pumps must also be flushed with hot water (20x pumping cycles)
  • Clean the dispenser housing under running hot water—stubborn residues and dirt are to be removed using a brush
  • Completely dry off the dispenser housing and dosing pump
  • After drying, subject the dispenser housing, dosing pump and dispenser rear wall to wipe disinfection with a suitable surface disinfectant
  • Reassemble dispenser and pump through several times with hand disinfectant:
    • 20x pump sanitizer through the pump
    • 5 minutes exposure time
    • 20x pump sanitizer through the pump
    • Insert into a new container and do test pump with the filling material
  • In addition to the manual procedure for cleaning pumps and hygiene dispensers, many ingo-man® brand products can be reprocessed in a washer-disinfector at 60°C or sterilized in an autoclave at 134°C.

Sources for the article “Eurospender: germ reduction by 7 log steps when cleaning pumps”:

[1] Gleich, S., Vieweg, C., & von Baum, H. (2015). Investigation of microbial contamination of wash lotion dispensers from different risk areas. Hyg Med, 40(6), 236-241.

[2] Buffet-Bataillon, S., Rabier, V., Bétrémieux, P., Beuchée, A., Bauer, M., Pladys, P., … & Jolivet-Gougeon, A. (2009). Outbreak of Serratia marcescens in a neonatal intensive care unit: contaminated unmedicated liquid soap and risk factors. Journal of Hospital Infection, 72(1), 17-22.


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