Instruments are designed for a particular purpose and should be used only for that purpose. Even the strongest instrument can be damaged when used inappropriately, such as when scissors are used to cut wire.
Because many compounds, including certain chemicals, are highly corrosive to stainless steel, rinse and dry instruments immediately if they come into contact with any potentially harmful substances. If no ultrasonic cleaner is available, clean the instrument very carefully. Pay particular attention when cleaning box locks, serrations, hinges and other hard-to-reach areas. Use nylon (not steel) brushes and warm (not hot) cleaning solutions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the preparation of the cleaning solutions. Change these solutions daily.
When using ultrasonic cleaners:
- Do not mix dissimilar metals, e.g. chrome and stainless, in the same cycle.
- Use only designated cleaners.
- Open all instruments so ratchets and box locks are accessible.
- Whenever possible, disassemble instruments for optimal cleaning.
- Avoid piling instruments on top of each other.
- Remove and rinse off instruments immediately after the cycle is finished.
- Allow instruments to air-dry.
- Lubricate all moving parts after cleaning and before sterilization.
- Use only lubricants specifically designed for surgical instruments.
- Change the ultrasonic cleaning solution daily.
“Sharps” must cut cleanly (resharpen if needed) and close properly. Check for burrs along the cutting edges. Needle holders and clamps must engage properly and meet correctly at the tips.
Inspect surfaces for any sign of staining, cracking or other irregularities. Common sources of staining are:
- Inadequate cleaning.
- Mixing dissimilar metals.
- Impurities in the water.
- Unsuitable or improper preparation and usage of cleaning and disinfecting agents.
- Noncompliance with operating procedures of cleaning and sterilizing equipment.
Always sterilize instruments in the open, unlocked position.
We recommend that instruments be wrapped in cloth and then placed in the container, or that a cloth be put on the bottom of the pan to absorb moisture. The cloth should be pH(7) neutral and free of detergent residues.
Please note that chrome-plated instruments may rust if they are not dried and lubricated immediately after sterilization.
Finally, avoid sudden cooling. Instruments should be allowed to air-dry.
- Rinse and soak soiled instruments immediately after use. Thoroughly clean before autoclaving.
- Clean, autoclave and sterilize instruments in an open position.
- Do not stack or entangle instruments.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using equipment and cleaning solutions.
- Keep instruments properly lubricated.
- Inspect instruments regularly.