ATP Meter swab

An expensive terminal disinfecting device or the strictest hand hygiene program is no match for poor cleaning practices. Vigorous washing along with the right products and tools are essential to ensure that areas remain truly clean and as pathogen-free as possible. But how can you be sure that an area is truly safe from pathogens?

Adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP, is an energy molecule found in all plant, animal, and microbial cells. All organic matter (living or once-living) contains ATP, including food, bacteria, mold, blood, saliva, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Viruses do not produce ATP. Therefore, ATP meters are a tool to help ensure surfaces are clean enough to be disinfected. 

What does an ATP meter do, and how does it work?

ATP testing devices contain a natural enzyme called luciferase, which is found in fireflies. (That’s right! Those cute little guys you see flying around during the summer months are helpful to science and to keep you safe.) This enzyme produces light – a bioluminescence reaction – when it comes into contact with ATP.

ATP Meter

Using bioluminescence technology, ATP Meters can measure extraordinarily low levels of ATP. Because the quantity of bioluminescence generated by the ATP reaction is directly proportional to the amount of ATP present in the sample, measuring the surface’s cleanliness is both simple and precise.

But how does a meter work? A surface is swabbed, and then the swab is inserted into a handheld luminometer. Results are available within as little as 10 seconds. Imagine having the immediate peace of mind of knowing whether a surface or area is truly clean and safe.

ATP Cleaning Verification Products can be used to:

  • Track and verify cleaning efforts
  • Better train staff on cleaning protocols
  • Verify that high-touch areas have been thoroughly cleaned
  • Verify that high-use areas have been cleaned according to standard  

For all of the above reasons listed in this article, Stuart Pro uses an ATP meter to ensure true cleanliness.