Proper Instrument Cleaning Method

1. Holding/Pre-Soak
Never allow blood, tissue and debris to dry onto instrument surfaces. If rinsing and decontamination processes are not immediately available, pre-treat instruments or hold them in a neutral pH pre-soak enzymatic solution after patient use but prior to actual cleaning.   

As soon as possible, rinse, disinfect and clean your instruments as follows:

2. Rinse
Immediately after surgery, remove organic materials by rinsing instruments under warm (not hot) running water. This rinse should remove most debris. DO NOT process dissimilar metals (stainless, copper, chrome plated) together.

3. Cleaning
All blood, body fluids and tissue must be completely removed from an instrument prior to sterilisation,

Irrespective of the cleaning method used always observe the following:

a) Use ONLY pH (7) or mild alkaline enzymatic cleaners and detergents.

b) ALWAYS use distilled (demineralised) water for final rinse

d) Dissimilar metal instruments MUST BE seperated.

e) DO NOT let "sharps" (scissors, knives etc) touch each other during the cleaning process.

f) All instruments with hinges, box locks, ratchets, etc MUST BE processed in an open position.

i/ Manual Cleaning

  • Soaking instuments in an enzymatic cleaner bath is an effective way of removing organic material.
  • Make sure to follow the cleaning agent manufacturers' instructions carefully.  
  • Ensure that all spaces and recesses are completley filled with cleaning solution and no air pockets exist.
  • Maintain a solution temperature of 20° to 40°C during the soaking process.
  • Use a stiff nylon brush. DO NOT use steel wool or wire brushes.
  • Brush delicate instruments carefully and if possible seperately from general instruments.
  • After scrubbing rinse instruments thoroughly in demineralised water to remove cleaning solution.  While rinsing, open and close hinged instruments, such as scissors, to ensure the the hinged areas are rinsed out and no debris remains.
  • Change solution frequently.

ii/ Ultrasonic Soaking & Cleaning:

  • This is widely recognised as being the most effective method of cleaning instruments.  However, extreme care must be taken when using this method to prevent damage being caused to instruments.  CHECK that your selected cleaner can be safely used with your ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Process instruments as per the manufacturers' recommended cleaning cycle - NEVER LONGER.
  • Upon completion of the cycle, remove the instruments IMMEDIATELY and rinse with demineralised water.

iii/ Automatic washer Sterilisers:

  • Follow manufacturers' recommendations but emsure instruments are lubricated after the last rinse cycle and before the sterilisation process.

4. After Cleaning

  • Inspect each instrument for proper function and condition.
  • Make sure instrument surfaces are visibly clean and free from stains.
  • Seperate all dissimilar metals prior to sterilisation.
  • Allowinstruments to air dry.
  • If instruments are to be stored prior to sterilisation ensure that they are stored in a clean and dry environment.

CAUTION: Disinfected instruments are NOT STERILE. Never expose stainless steel instruments to bleach or other corrosive chemicals. Exposure to bleach may result in instrument surfaces pitting and void all manufacturer warranties.

6. Special Note for Tungsten Carbide Instruments

  1. Bydand instruments that contain tungsten carbide (TC) can be easily identified by their distinctive gold coloured handles.
  2. DO NOT clean TC instruments in ultrasonic cleaners the vibrations will damage the weld between the TC and the stainless steel.
  3. DO NOT use solutions that contain benzyl ammonium chloride (BAC) to clean TC instruments.  The BAC will soften and destroy the TC inserts.
  4. Use detergents and lubricants that are pH neutral (7) only. High pH will break down the carbide and it will deteriorate prematurely.  Low pH will begin to break down the weld material that adheres the TC to the stainless steel and the carbide will lose hardness.

NOTE:
Caring for your instruments by following these cleaning, maintenance, and sterilisation guidelines will ensure trouble-free functionality and increase the longevity of your Bydand instruments.

Not following proper instrument care guidelines and procedures will void all manufacturers’ warranties.

For further information about our range of instrument cleaning and stain identification please refer to our instrument product section or contact our office directly.

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