Rinsing and drying (after manual cleaning)

      1. Rinsing and drying (after manual cleaning)

Rinsing and drying (after manual cleaning)

Note: This step is not required after cleaning with an instrument washer–disinfector  

Rinsing and drying after manual cleaning involved the following steps:

  • In the designated ‘clean’ sink, rinse all devices in gently running warm-to-hot running water.
  • Drain on a suitable clean surface (eg a corrugated insert in a container with a lid, or low-lint towel) but do not allow to air-dry.
  • Wearing clean latex-free gloves (eg utility gloves or nitrile chemically resistant examination gloves), dry with a disposable lint-free or low-lint cloth or place in drying cabinet.
  • Check that all items are clean, intact and functioning.

If the next step (steriliser cycle) is delayed, place cleaned and dried items in a clean (nonsterile), labelled, sealable container and store it where it cannot be accidentally used. Items can remain safely stored indefinitely, provided that recontamination is prevented.

Table 10.5. Advantages and disadvantages of washing and drying devices used in reprocessing of reusable medical devices

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

Ultrasonic cleaners

Clean surfaces and cavities without scratching, brushing or scraping

Time-efficient (short cleaning times)

Reduce the work health and safety hazards of instrument cleaning by staff, compared with manual cleaning

Very simple and easy to use

May require lower concentrations of chemicals than conventional cleaning

Smaller models are inexpensive

Unsuitable for some reusable practice equipment

Less time-efficient for large loads (require longer cleaning times due to energy absorption)

Large, heavy items can cause poor cleaning due to ‘shadowing’ effect

Immediate rinsing required after cycle ends before debris resettle on items, followed by cleaning (unless ultrasonic pre-cleaning followed by washer-disinfector cycle)

Solution must be changed if it becomes cloudy

Verification of cleaning effectiveness using validated cleaning verification products is recommended

Machine must be emptied, degassed, cleaned and dried at the end of each day of use or more frequently

Automatic washer-disinfectors

Clean, disinfect and dry items ready for packaging and sterilisation

Process can be validated

Reduce the work health and safety hazards of instrument cleaning by staff, compared with manual cleaning (no splash, less handling)

Manual drying not necessary

Expensive to purchase, run and maintain

Cycles can take up to approximately 1 hour

Requires validation

Requires soil test

Automatic washer-disinfectors with ultrasonic cycle

Pre-clean, clean, disinfect and dry items ready for packaging and sterilisation

Process can be validated

Reduce the work health and safety hazards of instrument cleaning by staff, compared with manual cleaning (no splash, less handling)

Manual drying not necessary

Expensive to purchase, run and maintain

Long cycles

Requires validation

Requires soil test