Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
We are currently experiencing intermittent issues impacting registration and login including access to online learning. We apologize for any inconvenience.
IPAC News: Ask the Expert


What cleaning and disinfection methods are recommended when patients/residents have Clostridium difficile infection?

Response provided by Andrea Iacurti and David Ryding, Infection Control Consultants, Regional Infection Control Networks, Public Health Ontario 

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a bacterium; it produces spores that can persist in an environment for months. The spread of C. difficile occurs because of inadequate hand hygiene and environmental cleaning. Consistent hand hygiene practices and thorough cleaning of the patient/resident environment are necessary for infection control.

The following cleaning and disinfection practices are recommended when patients/residents have confirmed or suspected C. difficile infection (CDI):

  • Clean and disinfect the patient/resident room twice daily using a hospital-grade disinfectant or sporicide.
  • Clean and disinfect the patient/resident bathroom twice daily using a sporicidal agent.
  • At discharge/transfer, double-clean patient/resident rooms.
  • If using a QUAT for cleaning, ensure areas are thoroughly rinsed before applying a hydrogen peroxide enhanced action formulation agent.

Consider using a sporicide for bathrooms in ambulatory areas with high turnover where patients with CDI are likely to be seen (e.g., emergency departments, chemotherapy clinics). Such high-use bathrooms should be cleaned every four hours at a minimum.

Public Health Ontario offers a toolkit on its online learning website to help with environmental cleaning.

For more information on environmental cleaning for C. difficile, see the following:

Page last reviewed:  
Page last updated: 2014-09-03 5:40 PM
Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 2014-09-03 5:40 PM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion