Autoclave Cleaner for Improved Sterilization and Better Infection Control
by dewi susanti
Autoclaves are designed to rid surgical, medical and cosmetic instruments as well as equipment used in industries such as food and pharmaceuticals, of health-impairing bacterial spores. However, in the bargain, it might absorb some bacterial matter too. The spores hide in folds and cervices within the chamber. Also, any residual matter on the drains prevents proper operation of this sterilization device. A quality autoclave cleaner can be used in disinfecting the interiors of an autoclave thereby increasing operational efficiency and ensuring better infection control.
Types of Autoclave Cleaners
Autoclave cleaners are available in two main forms – powders and concentrate solutions. The concentrate solution must be mixed with certain parts of water before it is used. Some manufacturers provide customers with kits containing the solution, pre-cleaner and brushes that can be used to do the job. Powder formulas are available in pre-measured packets increasing the ease of use.
There are several autoclave cleaner options in the market. However, when buying, you should purchase only those supplies and accessories that have been approved by the manufacturer. Using an ordinary cleaner might cause damage to the autoclave.
Daily Maintenance without an Autoclave Cleaner
Light cleaning on a daily basis will reduce work in the long run and also increase durability of the machine. The dust on the exteriors of the chamber should be wiped clean daily. At the end of each day, the interiors must be rinsed with clean water and any debris collected on the drain should be removed.
Periodical Curing Using an Autoclave Cleaner
A thorough curing should be done at regular intervals either weekly or monthly. A weekly or monthly schedule involves the use of an autoclave cleaner. Using a spray bottle enables proper application of the product on the interior walls. The product should be allowed to sit for sometime before you can scrub the walls with a cleaning brush.
The chamber should be rinsed after each cleansing session. The drain should be left open so that the water runs all the way through. The non-abrasive autoclave cleaner should also be used on the door and the shelves. At the same time, you should inspect the gaskets and replace them if damaged. When cleaning, one must also keep in mind the manufacturer precautions on the Material Safety Data Sheet.
The procedure varies for powder formulas. The powder is sprinkled inside the chamber followed by a sterilization cycle. After the sterilization, the solution is drained out and a sterilization cycle is repeated. Finally, the inside of the chamber is wiped with a damp cloth. Distilled water is filled into the reservoir preparing it for use.
Precautionary Measures for every Maintenance Session
The job of cleaning an autoclave is usually regarded the responsibility of the technician. Whether you use an autoclave cleaner or not, there are certain precautionary measures that will protect you from contracting diseases.
1. It is important to wear Latex gloves when cleaning out the interiors of the sterilizing chamber.
2. Debris accumulated on the drain can be removed using a pair of tweezers.
3. Follow the directions for use when using chemical agents to cure the autoclave.
If it involves cleaning on a larger scale, an autoclave cleaner solution or powder formula will fall short of delivering an effective job. It requires professional expertise and usually involves calling in the manufacturer’s team trained to carry out the maintenance procedure.
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