Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners can be more effective than manual cleaning, especially with complex and hinged instruments.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

HTM 01-05 deems ultrasonic baths to be optional, they are not required to meet either essential quality requirement or best practice.

Ultrasonic cleaners can be more effective than manual cleaning, especially with complex and hinged instruments.

Ultrasonic cleaners are also easier to validate as they are automatic and the process is repeatable.

Any ultrasonic cleaner should be operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and local protocols.

The Main Points to Consider

Consideration should be given to the following details:

At the Start of the Day:

  • Add the correct volume of water to the clean ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Add the correct quantity of detergent as specified by the manufacturer. Detergents are often supplied in pre-measured dose sachets for ease of use.
  • Check the temperature of the water if there is no built in temperature sensor, ensuring that the temperature does not exceed 45°C.
  • Fit the lid and, as specified by the manufacturer, run the ultrasonic cleaner in order to degas the solution. Dissolved gasses in the water will absorb the ultrasonic energy and reduce the cleaning effect on the instruments.

For Every Decontamination Cycle:

  • If necessary carefully wash heavy soiling off the instruments.
  • Place instruments in the cleaner basket in a single layer with hinged instruments open.
  • Instruments should not overlap as this will reduce the cleaning action.
  • Replace the lid and run the specified cycle. If the manufacturer does not specify a cycle length then a generic cycle length can be determined and this is usually between 6 and 11 minutes.
  • Do not remove the lid, add or remove instruments, or put hands in the water while the cycle is running.
  • Fully drain instruments before rinsing with suitable potable (drinkable) water in a separate clean rinsing sink.
  • Record parameters in the ultrasonic cleaning log book.
  • The cleaning solution must be replaced every session (four hours) or when visibly soiled.

For more information on testing and validation of ultrasonic cleaners please see the relevant sections of the Isopharm website.