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ASTM E1174

Determine Effectiveness of Handwash formulations

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ASTM E1174 : 21 – Standard Test Method for Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Health Care Personnel Handwash Formulations

ASTM E1174 is used to determine the effectiveness of health care handwash agents/formulations against microorganisms that transiently colonise the skin. Also, this test can be performed for ready to use hand hygiene formulations such as alcohol based hand rubs and other leave on products.

Hand hygiene products are regarded as one of most effective measures to prevent cross contamination in health care settings. Hence, antimicrobial efficacy testing of such products is very important to ensure proper hygiene and germ protection. ASTM E1174 is a standard method that determines the antimicrobial effectiveness of products before their real use.

ASTM E1174 Test Preparations 

Subjects – This test requires a group of participants who have not used any antimicrobial products for about a week before testing. Important to ensure that participants should not have any signs of skin problems such as wounds, infections etc.

Test microorganisms – ASTM E1174 specifies the following two bacterial strains for testing – Serratia marcescens or Escherichia coli

Test process of ASTM E1174

ASTM E1174 Test Method

  • Prior to hand contamination with test microorganisms, participant’s hands are subjected to initial cleansing wash to remove the oil and dirt impurities.
  • An aliquot of test organisms suspension is spread over the entire surface of hands for 20 ± 5 seconds and is allowed to dry for 30 ± 5 seconds. This process is repeated for 2 more times to minimize the loss of test organisms during spreading.
  • After contamination, a baseline sample is recovered to determine the number of marker microorganisms surviving on hands.
  • Contaminated hands are washed using test samples by following manufacturer’s use directions.
  • After washing, hands are put into gloves containing neutralizing solution to extract remaining bacteria.
  • Recovered sampling solution is enumerated either using pour or spread plating method.
  • Antimicrobial activity is assessed by comparing the number of microorganisms obtained from contaminated hands after the use of test samples to microorganisms recovered from contaminated hands which were not exposed to test samples.

At MIS,  we have a  team of highly experienced microbiologists and research experts to perform the ASTM E1174 test. Also, our labs are highly specialized and well- equipped to yield accuracy in results. 

For questions about the pricing, and other hand sanitizer testing methods performed at MIS, please contact our experts directly here.


ASTM E1174 test is used to determine antimicrobial efficacy of healthcare handwash agents or formulations for killing transient microflora.

ASTM E1174 test is applicable for handwash agents/ formulations, hand rubs and leave on products.

ASTM E1174 test takes 2-3 weeks to complete.

At Microbe Investigations, we test for ASTM E1174  using the following microbial strains: Escherichia coli (ATCC 8739). Additional stains can be added on customer’s request.

Contact us for more information

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