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Even before step one of this study, I did a review of literature. I looked at the charts out there and pamphlets, and articles. I really wanted to test vinegar as a disinfectant but read something on Reddit about it compromising silicone. To get five days of growth in the petri dishes, I ended up doing all of the direct sampling on Friday night, late. My partner helped with washing and moving the objects back and forth. He was probably more thorough so this may have led to a discrepancy. Other limitations in addition to being tired, having limited time, and inter-rater reliability include: possible recontamination, crossing the center line on the petri dishes thereby dragging germs from one region into the other, breathing, varied length of time washing them, varied lengths of time sampling them, not following instructions, not permitting enough drying time to represent the cleaning method, crowding toys in the UV machine, bumping toys with my hand... I didn't do a great comparison of all the specimens (quantifying growth etc.) and there's bias.
If I were to do it again I would hire a lab tech to help me. I would do multiple runs of the same experiment (so multiple samples run through the same tests), I would take a sample of the toy after the reset flushes, I would determine a better way to reset them, I would test more cleaning strategies, and I would test more materials -- including jelly rubber so I could see the science of the pores. Oooo and I would experiment with drying -- drying the body fluid and drying post cleaning. What are the germ results post-cleaning but after toys have been stored in silk bags or drawers?
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