How To Perform Routine Autoclave
by: dewi susanti
If an autoclave requires major cleaning, the best person for such a task is a qualified professional from the autoclave manufacturing firm. However, hiring of such personnel would definitely be a very expensive venture if applied in routine autoclave cleaning tasks. These routine tasks generally involve daily, weekly and monthly chores that can be done by healthcare personnel who use such equipment.
The very first step, before any autoclave cleaning is done, is to disconnect the electric cord and ensuring that all the pressure within has been dissipated. In some cases, this may not apply to various types of autoclaves depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Daily Autoclave Cleaning Tasks
The daily cleaning tasks include:
- Dusting the exterior surface of the autoclave.
- Basic cleaning and wiping inside the autoclave.
- Using water, a mild detergent and piece of cloth/ sponge, clean the door gasket.
- Remove all the debris that accumulate in the drains, which can hinder proper operation
Weekly Autoclave Cleaning Tasks
- In electric models, use a damp sponge or piece of cloth for cleaning the water sensors at the back of the chamber. The main focus in such cleaning should be eliminating dirt from the sides of the sensor, more than just the tip.
- Using a manufacturer approved cleaner or descalar, clean the autoclave’s chamber as well as the drains.
- Clean the trays and tray holder using a manufacturer approved detergent, sponge/ cloth and water. Take note to avoid use of steel brushes, steel wool and bleach in this process.
- The door hinge pins and door tightening bolts require a few drops of oil.
- The exterior surface of an entire autoclave would require thorough cleaning after finishing up with the internal parts.
Monthly Autoclave Cleaning Tasks
The monthly cleaning tasks generally involve cleaning of the drains using a manufacturer approved descalar. Make sure to follow all the precautions and recommendations given by the manufacturer. This will preserve the integrity of your equipment and avoid expiry of the manufacturer’s warranty.
Bi-monthly Autoclave Cleaning Tasks
The autoclave manufacturer would have provided a cleaning procedure for the sterilizing equipment’s safety valve. Make sure to follow these instructions while checking and cleaning the safety valves. Moreover, many manufacturer’s also have specific pre-cleaners, brushes and descalar solutions for exclusive use on their equipment. These are normally the best suited for cleaning such equipment.
How To Organize A Cleaning Schedule
If your health centre has quite a large number of autoclaves, the routine cleaning tasks may be overwhelming and time-consuming for one person. The solution in such a situation is to set up a cleaning schedule that would involve various personnel in the facility. The tasks may rotate to each staff member so that each person has a chance of getting involved. This will ensure that the autoclaves remains in good working order without having to place too much responsibility on one person. Moreover, a rotational task schedule will also cushion against instances when one person has gone on vacation or has taken a day off. Someone else would simply take the responsibility to make sure that daily cleaning tasks are carried out effectively without fail.
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