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Routine Autoclave Cleaning should be Mandatory

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  • Routine Autoclave Cleaning should be Mandatory

    The Autoclave.Guru has been cleaning autoclaves for 20+ years. In that time we have seen many well cared for autoclaves and an equal amount of train wrecks. Routine cleaning is important on several levels. Most importantly, it keeps your staff engaged with the machine. Today's automatic autoclaves are not as forgiving as their manually operated counterparts. In order for newer automatic machines to run correctly they need to be clean.

    A few months ago, I had a Midmark M11 delivered and placed on my bench. The inside of the chamber looked and smelled awful and had what looked like hair in it. So, naturally, I opened up the cabinet gained access to the water reservoir and removed the condensing coil. The smell was getting worse. As I started pulling debris out I soon realized that it was a dead mouse.

    The mouse must have tried to get a drink of water from the fill and fallen in resulting in death by drowning. What happened then is a case of not paying attention to the autoclave and lack of routine cleaning.

    The customers complaint was that the unit was failing cycles on High Heat and by-passing the fill cycle while smelling absolutely foul (mouse soup in this case).

    Well, there was no chamber filter in the base of the unit so I found a hunk of meat on the water electrode. Probably the cause of the by passing of the fill cycle. Even without that the unit wasn't going to fill properly as all the tubing and valves were full of bones and fur.

    Had this customer at least emptied the water reservoir and refreshed the water once a week and wiped the chamber out they may have discovered this event earlier.

    The repair and cleaning took about 4 hours (mostly cleaning and sanitizing). However, we told the customer that they should really re process all of the instruments that had been through this particular machine as a precaution.

    That's when we found out that they had no policy to track which instruments were processed through each of their two autoclaves. For beginners, we suggested that everything now be reprocessed. Talk about quickly becoming unpopular. Then, we discussed an action plan to bring them into a better place as far as organization and accountability.

    Yes, Veterinary clinics still need to have Best Practices and Standards.

  • #2
    Autoclave.Guru asks: How often do you clean your table top autoclave?


    • #3
      Autoclave cleaning product


      • #4
        If you were a patient, would you want the instruments going into your mouth coming out of these autoclaves?
        How often does your office clean your autoclave or sterilizer?


        • #5
          More reasons for cleaning and preventative maintenance.
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          • #6
            Autoclave.Guru suggests using BarKeepeers Friend to clean your autoclave and sterilizer tray racks and trays.
            Rinse well and buff out any reside with a soft cloth or towel.
            This non abrasive formula contains no bleach and is designed to clean your stainless steel trays .
            Bar Keepers Friend cleansers tackle rust, mineral deposits, baked-on food, and other tough stains with gentle, bleach-free formulations.


            • #7
              all autoclaves and sterilizers are cleaned to the best of our ability before leaving our shop
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              • #8
                Midmark M11 Cleaning Instructions