Properly Cleaning Reusable Medical Instruments

The threat of the Ebola virus hangs in the air indefinitely, changing the mood of the general public. The need to improve on things that we can control, such as maintaining clean, sterile medical instruments, has become more imperative than ever before—even more so when cleaning reusable medical instruments.

In cleaning medical instruments, the quality of water matters. Washing with tap water is discouraged, since it has a high concentration of minerals which can settle and stain medical instruments over time.

Cleaning agents can also cause corrosion on medical instruments, so it’s best to clean them using a neutral pH soap, with levels between 7 pH and 8 pH to ensure thorough cleaning. Keep in mind that in cleaning medical instruments, you are removing residual stains and dirt from them and preventing them from corroding or rusting, making them suitable for future use.

Usually, medical instruments are cleaned through mechanical cleaners, such as utensil washers, with ultrasonic cleaning said to be 16 times more effective than manual cleaning. However, instruments can also be cleaned manually if the device is delicate, or need to be disassembled before the process.

Medical instruments need this thorough cleaning to reduce the risk of cross-infection, especially where there are viruses that can spread quickly. With proper cleaning and maintenance of reusable medical instruments, a facility can expect to have its medical instruments serve them well and for a long time, sparing the need to have to buy newer and costlier medical equipment.

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