Pen-X Created by Healthcare Worker to Help Prevent Cross-Contamination

Pen-X, a sanitizer for writing instruments, was created by Tami Rodriguez, a healthcare worker, and her husband Joe. Tami Rodriguez had noticed that healthcare workers rarely disinfected any writing instruments, and together the Rodriguezes began researching the types and amounts of germs found on pens in hospitals and other medical office settings. Their suspicions were correct: Most pens studied had been shown to have multiple colonies of bacteria, and all were considered fomites, or inanimate objects capable of transmitting germs or viruses between people.

"We all know the writing pen can be one of the biggest sources of transmission regarding the spread of infection," says Joe Rodriguez. "Studies have shown that pens from healthcare workers have tested positive for viruses and bacteria, including influenza, VRE and MRSA. Studies have also shown that wiping down these pens with an alcohol-based cleaning agent significantly stopped the growth and spread of these germs."

Reasoning that few people will take the time to wipe down a pen with alcohol, the Rodriguezes knew they had to provide a way to stop the spread of infectious disease via writing utensils that people would actually use. They hit upon a quick and inexpensive solution to the problem: Pen-X. Available in a sturdy, no-tip tabletop bottle, Pen-X is easy to use. Simply dip the pen into the Pen-X cleaning and sanitizing solution; the solution dries in seconds without interfering with the pen's effectiveness, yet it is designed to kill 99.9 percent of germs.

Though Pen-X was developed to address a problem within the healthcare setting, it can be used in any environment in which multiple people touch the same pens each day: schools, offices, social services settings, police stations, grocery stores, and virtually anywhere else.

"Handwashing is considered the number-one way to stop the spread of colds, flu and other contagious illnesses," says Tami Rodriguez. "But that's only effective until we touch the next contaminated pen. Many people practice frequent hand washing yet still contract infectious disease. Pen-X helps put a stop to that by killing the germs that have, until now, been transmitted by writing instruments."

For a limited time, every Pen-X order comes with a free wall mount. To learn more, visit