Opinions differ on the value of microbiological testing of endoscopes, which varies according to the technique used. We compared the efficacy on bacterial biofilms of sampling solutions used for the surveillance of the contamination of endoscope channels. To compare efficacy, we used an experimental model of a 48-h Pseudomonas biofilm grown on endoscope internal tubing. Sampling of this experimental biofilm was performed with a Tween 80-lecithin-based solution, saline, and sterile water. We also performed a randomized prospective study during routine clinical practice in our hospital sampling randomly with two different solutions the endoscopes after reprocessing. Biofilm recovery expressed as a logarithmic ratio of bacteria recovered on bacteria initially present in biofilm was significantly more effective with the Tween 80-lecithin-based solution than with saline solution (P = 0.002) and sterile water (P = 0.002). There was no significant difference between saline and sterile water. In the randomized clinical study, the rates of endoscopes that were contaminated with the Tween 80-lecithin-based sampling solution and the saline were 8/25 and 1/25, respectively (P = 0.02), and the mean numbers of bacteria recovered were 281 and 19 CFU/100 ml (P = 0.001), respectively. In conclusion, the efficiency and therefore the value of the monitoring of endoscope reprocessing by microbiological cultures is dependent on the sampling solutions used. A sampling solution with a tensioactive action is more efficient than saline in detecting biofilm contamination of endoscopes.