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More harm than good? 2 potential pitfalls of dilution control systems (DCS) and, how ready-to-use wipes can avoid them January 16, 2024
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More harm than good? 2 potential pitfalls of dilution control systems (DCS) and, how ready-to-use wipes can avoid them

In our last blog post, we introduced the topic of DCS with a focus on risks associated with microfiber textiles. But when using a DCS, there are other important aspects to think about – for instance, has your team considered the many factors involved in ensuring the systems operate as expected, and the water characteristics are appropriate? In today’s post, we dive deeper into DCS by highlighting two potential pitfalls: 1) human and/or system error; 2) fluctuating water quality.

Truthfully, when requirements are not met, dilution control efforts meant to protect patients, staff and visitors can actually spread infection. But with ready-to-use wipes, you can avoid these potential pitfalls entirely. Read on for some important questions to ask as you evaluate your sanitization and disinfection approach.

1. Have you considered the potential risks associated with the functioning of the DCS itself?

Is your DCS dispensing the right chemical concentration every time?

  • A 2015 study identified variations in quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) concentrations delivered by the facility’s dispensing stations. In fact, none of the dispensing stations surveyed yielded the right in-use concentration of 800 ppm. Of the 33 dispensing stations surveyed, concentrations were inconsistent across 30 stations, two stations were empty and one station was inoperative.1

How often is your machine maintained to ensure proper dilution? Are you performing quality checks? And have you considered the potential labour/material costs associated with a malfunctioning or poorly maintained DCS?

  • Another study, published in the Canadian Journal of Infection Control, evaluated the reliability of automated DCS for concentrated accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP) disinfectant in a 1,000-bed hospital. Nine quality control failures were detected during a 30-day testing period – seven failures involved the DCS disposing well below the acceptable concentration; two disposed well above the required concentration.2

Have you considered the consequences of using the same solution on all surfaces?

  • If chosen DCS disinfectants do not have an acceptable compatibility profile with all surfaces used, they may cause damage during routine use (i.e., plastic fatigue, discolouration, metal corrosion). 

Read more in our blog Disinfectant surface compatibility: what you need to know.

If you aren’t auditing your DCS, your team may be contributing to an unsafe environment. Ready-to-use wipes, however, are consistently effective, by design.  Click here to read more about the efficacy of ready-to-use wipes when compared to dilutable products.

2. Have you considered the potential risks associated with the water used in the DCS?

Is your water compatible with your dispenser design?

Any substances that are not H20 in your facility’s water are considered impurities – and that can be problematic to your DCS. You also need to consider:

  • Water pressure: If too weak, it can affect how much water is in your concentration; if too hard, it can affect the potency of the chemicals mixed in the DCS
  • Temperature: Water that’s too hot or too cold can impact the concentration of the DCS disinfectant
  • Total hardness, pH, conductivity: The status of your water hardness (ppm CaCO3/L), pH @ 25°C, conductivity (µmhos/cm) can affect how your water performs with your dilution system
  • Minerals: Cu2+, F-, K+, HCO3, Mg2+ can be corrosive to your DCS, and impact its performance. These and other factors can affect and eat away at certain components of your DCS

Is your water being tested for the presence of microbes? How often?

  • Research has revealed the presence of opportunistic molds, nontuberculous mycobacteria and other pathogens in hospital water (i.e. humidifiers, sinks and plumbing fixtures), which can expose patients to serious risk of infection

Required water monitoring adds time and labour to your process. But with ready-to-use wipes, the pre-work has already been done in a controlled and protected environment. 

Clorox Healthcare® pre-moistened wipes

Ready to look into ready-to-use wipes for your healthcare facility? Choose the industry leader, CloroxHealthcare®.

CloroxHealthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes (DIN: 02406225)

  • Alcohol-free, non-bleach, non-corrosive, good surface compatibility tested on medical devices
  • Less residue, easy on surfaces, multi-surface cleaner disinfectant
  • Kills 56 pathogens in 1 minute or less, including 13 antibiotic-resistant ones, including TB in 1 minute and kills C. auris in 3 minutes
  • Ideal for daily use in high-turnover areas on hard surfaces

Clorox Healthcare® VersaSure™ Alcohol-Free Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes (DIN 02473151)

  • Alcohol-free quat formula
  • 50 pathogens killed in 2 minutes or less (bacteria, viruses and fungi]
  • Low odour, low residue, non-bleach
  • Can be used daily on portable and mobile facility equipment

Clorox Healthcare® Bleach Germicidal Wipes (DIN: 02465671)

  • Built to kill nearly 60 microorganisms in ≤3 minutes
  • Improved surface compatibility and residue profile
  • Kills C. difficile spores in 3 minutes 

See even more benefits of CloroxHealthcare® ready-to-use wipes here.

Want to speak to a representative about customized solutions and training? Contact us today.


  1. Sullivan, L et al. “Quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) issues encountered in an environmental services (EVS) department.” Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control vol. 4,Suppl 1 P42. 16 Jun. 2015.
  2. O’Neill, Cindy et al. “Quality control is indispensable for automated dilution systems with accelerated hydrogen peroxide.” The Canadian journal of infection control : the official journal of the Community & Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada = Revue canadienne de prevention des infections vol. 24,4 (2009): 226-8.
  3. Rutala WA, Weber DJ. Water as a reservoir of nosocomial pathogens. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1997; 18:609–16. 
  4. CloroxPro . Disinfectant compatibility what you need to know: Accessed October 30, 2023.
  5. Chironda, Barley. 2018. Ready-To-Use vs. Diluteable Disinfectants: Discover The More Cost-Effective Option [Webinar]. IPAC. Accessed October 30, 2023.
  6. Decker, BK and Palmore, TN. The role of water in healthcare-associated infections. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;26(4):345-51.7. Kline S, et al. An outbreak of bacteremias associated with Mycobacterium mucogenicum in a hospital water supply. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2004; 25:1042–9.