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When using accelerated hydrogen peroxide (Rescue) for sanitation does it need to be rinsed?

Authors: Dr. Cynthia Karsten
Document Type: FAQs
Topics: Shelter Design and Housing and Infectious Disease
Species: Feline and Canine

Many shelters are now using accelerated hydrogen peroxide (Rescue) for sanitation for several reasons, including its ability to function as both detergent and disinfectant, its broad spectrum of activity and more. Another benefit is the fact that it does not require rinsing. Dr. Karsten discusses why it is actually preferable NOT to rinse when using accelerated hydrogen peroxide.


I am reaching out to you to get your opinion on the cleaning protocol for accelerated hydrogen peroxide. In particular, whether or not the kennels should be rinsed after Rescue has met its required contact time. There seems to be a bit of confusion on this point.  

The manufacturer’s cleaning protocol say that it can air dry or be dry wiped or in some cases it may need to be rinsed… but it doesn’t say what surfaces need the rinsing. 

I would think that a wet rinse would be preferable for equipment like kennels that cost a lot of money – we don’t want to do anything to potential degrade the stainless steel.  But the wet rinse would only happen after the appropriate contact time.  




In working with Ogena Solutions, the company that introduced accelerated hydrogen peroxide to the shelter community, it's been my understanding that there are a few reasons why it's good NOT to rinse Rescue/Accel when doing your daily cleaning (good to rinse when deep cleaning), but to instead use a squeegee to remove excess liquid.  The reasons being:

  1. Why rinse off the good stuff, as long as the surface is wet with Rescue it can continue to do its work.
  2. Using a squeegee offers some mechanical removal of any bits of soil/debris that may be left.
  3. Using a squeegee will take any puddles that might exist and spread the solution around so it can do its work even more.
  4. Dramatic savings in water usage is always a good thing!
  5. When Rescue dries it will leave a fine layer of surfactant on the surface, which will help prevent the next deposit of feces from sticking so it'll be easier to clean up!

Some additional information if interested:

Based on my understanding of the product, disease transmission, dose effect and how most shelters clean, my recommendation for most shelters is to use Accel/Rescue at 1:64 (1/4 cup or 2 ounces of product per gallon of water) for daily cleaning (when animals are staying in their same housing unit) and going up to 1:32 (1/2 cup or 4 ounces per gallon of water) once a week with scrubbing and a 10 minute wet contact time (this is also the recommendation from Ogena Solutions).  That being said, some shelters find this too confusing for staff to use two different dilutions, so they go with 1:32 all the time (but really with daily cleaning when the same animal is staying in their kennel – no need to use a contact time – unless we’re dealing about puppies).  This is a totally acceptable protocol – the only down side is that twice as much Accel/Rescue is being used when likely it is not necessary.

When a kennel changes over, the recommendation is to use 1:32 (4 ounces per gallon) with a 10 minute wet contact time or 1:16 with a 5 minute wet contact time.  Both of these protocols are labeled effective against parvovirus.  With confirmed parvovirus cases, we recommend cleaning the kennel three times – which can all be done in the same day.  There is nothing magic about three times except that likely after mechanical cleaning this many times, every surface will have been covered at least once and thus the kennel will be safely ready for a new occupant.  There is no need to shut the kennel down for any period of time.

Hope that helps!  

Koret Shelter Medicine Program

Cynthia Karsten, DVM
Resident, Koret Shelter Medicine Program
UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health