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COVID-19 Treatment Table Disinfection Guide

Vinyl Cleaner

COVID-19 Treatment Table Disinfection Guide

Last Updated: 22/02/2021 3:34 pm

Athlegen usually recommends the use of gentle cleaning products to prolong the life of your table's upholstery fabric. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, patient health and safety are paramount, and table surface disinfection must take precedence over the longevity of the upholstery fabric.

The use of cleaners with bleach, solvent or alcohol, as the active ingredients for disinfection will adversely affect the fabric's lifespan. It will undoubtedly result in your table requiring reupholstery sooner than in normal circumstances.

Regular table reupholstery is already an accepted cost of doing business for many clinics, e.g., day surgeries and tattoo salons who must disinfect their table surfaces before each client.

It is also important to remember that cracked, split or flaked upholstery is unsafe because it cannot be adequately disinfected and should immediately be reupholstered.

There are three main types of upholstery fabrics used by Athlegen on treatment tables: PVC (vinyl), PU polyurethane or Genuine leather.

To disinfect upholstered fabrics for Covid19 virus follow the advice below if you are unsure of the fabric composition of your table contact Athlegen.

Soapy water or Athlegen Upholstery Cleaner is suitable for thorough cleaning of treatment table upholstery this will remove grime and treatment products such as massage oil from the upholstery surface, however, to kill a virus a disinfectant is needed.The most gentle disinfectant for treatment table upholstery is household bleach - active ingredient sodium hypochlorite with a concentration of at least 1000ppm/10%.  Bleach does not necessarily clean the upholstery surface but will kill most germs, bacteria and viruses that are present.

PVC (Athlegen fabric ranges: Ultimate, Encore, Camero, Pellan, Studio or Colorado)
PU (Athlegen fabric ranges: Evolve or Ultra)

Step 1: Before disinfection, thoroughly clean your table with soapy water or Athlegen vinyl cleaner. A soft natural bristle brush will help remove grime embedded in the embossed surface grain.

Step 2: Wipe any excess residue off with clean water and a clean lint-free soft cloth.

Step 3: Use the recommended bleach solution and leave on for 10 minutes to disinfect.

Step 4: Finish by wiping any excess residue with clean water and completely dry with a clean soft lint-free cloth.

Vinyl Cleaner 500ml Pump Pack

Hero Vinyl Cleaner

When bleach is used as a disinfectant, it is essential that it is made fresh daily and is made to the correct strength, that is 1000 parts per million - concentrations less than this may not be effective.

Refer to the table or the easy-to-use calculator link below for how much chlorine-based (sodium hypochlorite) disinfectant to dilute with water to get the desired concentration of bleach solution.

Makes 1 Litre Of Bleach Solution
% of Active Bleach Water
Ingredient ml ml
1 100 900
1.25 80 920
1.5 70 930
1.75 58 942
2 50 950
2.25 45 955
2.5 40 960
2.75 37 963
3 34 966
3.25 31 969
3.5 29 971
3.75 27 973
4 26 974
4.25 25 975
4.5 24 976
4.75 23 977
5 22 978
5.25 21 979
5.5 20 980
5.75 19 981
6 18 982
Bleach ml rounded up for a min 1000ppm concentration

Genuine Leather 

Disinfecting cow-hide is difficult as it is naturally porous. The regular use of alcohol or bleach will dry out and destroy the leather surface. If disinfection is required we recommend using table covers made of Plastic or PVC to protect the leather.

Metal Surfaces

Although diluted Bleach will not damage painted metal, it is corrosive to stainless steel and chrome-plated components. So if you get any bleach on any of these components, immediately wipe with fresh water and dry completely with a soft cloth.

To clean or disinfect stainless steel or chrome-plated components we recommend the use of Isopropyl alcohol.

The Use Of Other Disinfectants

PU Fabrics: If your table is upholstered with Evolve or Ultra PU fabric you can also disinfect upholstery with alcohol-based solutions (50-70%),  isopropyl alcohol (70%) wipes or with a disinfectant with Benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient (4.5%) such as Viraclean TM. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.

PVC Fabrics: If your table is upholstered with Ultimate, Encore, Camero, Pellan, Studio or Colorado PVC fabric DO NOT use any alcohol-based products as they will dramatically harm the lifespan of the fabric. The plasticisers in the PVC will prematurely dry out and the PVC surface will go hard, blister and split.

Cleaning or Disinfecting Ingredients Harmful to Upholstery Fabrics

Many cleaning and disinfecting products include other ingredients as colour additives, fragrances or combine several active ingredients known to harm upholstery fabrics. Some harmful ingredients include Eucalyptus oil, Citrus acid, Citrus peel, Orange Peel, Limonene, Tea-Tree oil or any chemical or natural-based solvents. Remember to select a cleaning or disinfecting product that features only a single active ingredient e.g., household bleach with only sodium hypochlorite; a disinfectant with only a single active ingredient Viraclean (Benzalkonium Chloride), or 70% alcohol-based disinfectants without fragrances or colourings.

Important Bleach Use and Safety Information

  • Check the expiration dates of your bleach or chemical sanitiser to ensure the active ingredients are still effective.
  • Follow safety precautions by using personal protective equipment, including protective clothing, gloves and safety goggles.
  • Do not mix with any other chemical.
  • Mix in a well-ventilated room.
  • Do not use hot water to make up chlorine solutions - cold water is safer.
  • Always add the bleach solution to the water when preparing the solution, not vice versa.
  • Bleach rapidly degrades in the presence of light and when mixed with water. Store in opaque containers and use within 24 hours.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the product label and refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet for further details on handling.
  • Care must be taken to completely rinse all detergent or cleaning agent residues and thoroughly dry the surface prior to applying bleach so as not to further dilute the bleach solution.
  • Do not use bleach in a spray bottle.
  • It is recommended to allow bleach solutions a full 10 minutes of contact time to ensure complete disinfection.

For further information on environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19 refer the Australian Government link below.

This guide has been prepared in consultation with upholstery fabric manufacturers and suppliers and is intended to provide the most gentle disinfection guide for the Upholstery Fabrics used by Athlegen.

Athlegen acknowledges that there are many other disinfection products available, but because they have not been tested, they may harm the lifespan of your table's upholstery.

Covid-19 Use of Protective Table Covers and Towels

All protective table covers and towels used during the treatment should be washed after each use. After use, be careful not to shake the linen to avoid the likelihood of spreading the virus and place used linen immediately in a sealed single-use garbage bag ready for laundering.Many allied health practitioners are choosing to use single-use disposable table covers or face hole or head cradle pad covers such as Purifas instead of linen.

Purifas Faceshield - 100 pc