Cleaning is the removal of foreign
material (e.g., soil, and organic material) from objects and is
normally accomplished using water with detergents or enzymatic
products. Thorough cleaning is required before high-level
inorganic and organic materials that remain on the surfaces of
instruments interfere with the effectiveness of these processes.
Mechanical Cleaning is the preferred method to cleaning instruments
or devices – known to be 16 times more effective then
The most common types of mechanical or
automatic cleaners are
cleaners, washer-decontaminators, washer-disinfectors, and
removes soil by cavitation and implosion in which waves of acoustic
energy are propagated in aqueous solutions to disrupt the bonds that
hold particulate matter to surfaces. Bacterial
contamination can be present
in used ultrasonic cleaning solutions (and other used detergent
solutions) because these solutions generally do not make
antibacterial label claims. Even though ultrasound alone does not
significantly inactivate bacteria, sonication can act
synergistically to increase the cidal efficacy of a disinfectant.
Users of ultrasonic cleaners should be aware that the cleaning fluid
could result in endotoxin contamination of surgical instruments,
which could cause severe inflammatory reactions.
are modified steam sterilizers that clean by filling the chamber
with water and detergent through which steam passes to provide
agitation. Instruments are subsequently rinsed and subjected to a
short steam-sterilization cycle. Another washer-sterilizer employs
rotating spray arms for a wash cycle followed by a steam
sterilization cycle at 285°F.
act like a dishwasher that uses a combination of water circulation
and detergents to remove soil. These units sometimes have a cycle
that subjects the instruments to a heat process (e.g., 93°C for 10
minutes). Washer-disinfectors are generally computer-controlled
units for cleaning, disinfecting, and drying solid and hollow
surgical and medical equipment.
See the complete recommendations on
cleaning, disinfection and sterilization at
“Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare
ATS, Inc. also stocks ultrasonic cleaners – see
Supplies. ATS, Inc. provides
services to assist your office
in its endeavor for sterility assurance, protecting yourself, your
patients and staff from the spread of harmful communicable diseases.