Ultrasonic technology is today widely accepted/used in various sectors, including medical and surgical.
It is generally used to ease the job of healthcare providers by helping them clean the surgical instruments prior to terminal sterilization.
While using ultrasonic technology, ultrasonic energy is utilized and created with the help of ultrasonic cleaner for surgical instruments that use built-in transducers for efficient cleaning of items.
The method (and the device used) is completely reliable and trustworthy as it sterilizes the surgical instruments completely without posing any risk to staff or patients.
Usage of Surgical Instruments and Risks Involved
Surgical instruments usually consist of carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, or even tungsten carbide.
However, stainless steel is the most used metal among all of them.
Improper cleaning of surgical instruments can cause the spreading of germs and other types of organisms apart from rusting and corrosion of instruments.
It is therefore very important to decontaminate surgical instruments to prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens in the hospital.
Not only in hospitals, labs, and dental clinics but the cleaning of medical instruments is also an important task for veterinary surgeons in veterinary clinics and animal hospitals.
The department involved in the cleaning of surgical instruments (in the lab or hospital) usually utilizes two ways to fully decontaminate instruments used during surgery.
- Manual washing or cleaning of the surgical instruments.
- Using special washers and decontaminators such as ultrasonic cleaners for medical instruments.
While manual cleaning can be done regularly (if not much contaminated OR before sterilization), cleaning and sterilizing the instruments is highly essential if these lab instruments are highly adulterated and risky to use.
Veterinarians enjoy the benefit of effortless as well as time-saving cleaning, by making use of these ultrasonic cleaner machines for washing all surgical instruments thoroughly.
Since there is no need for hand scrubbing required during the use of the ultrasonic cleaning process, it provides improved infection control and efficiency in veterinary clinics.
Just in case you are searching for a good reliable machine to purchase, below we have provided a few best ultrasonic cleaner machines for cleaning medical and surgical instruments.
Before buying them online, you can check them in detail, along with consumer reviews and ratings.
Also, you will find below some basic steps involved in cleaning instruments in hospitals, clinics, and labs (using both methods).
5 Best Ultrasonic Cleaners for Cleaning Medical Instruments
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The use of ultrasonic cleaners cannot be ignored when we talk about the cleaning of medical instruments in the medical field, such as in the dental, veterinary, surgical, and ophthalmic industries.
As such, there are various ultrasonic cleaner models available for cleaning. These are not only affordable but also reliable in providing the best cleaning without any risk.
To make your selection easier, we list down the top 5 models that are bestselling on Amazon. Check them in detail before picking one for your lab instruments.
1- Flexzion Ultrasonic Cleaner
Flexzion commercial ultrasonic cleaner is a perfect blend of effectiveness and reliability for those who want to clean surgical instruments effectively without any risk or hassle.
This professional Flexzion ultrasonic cleaner device generates the 42,000Hz of ultrasonic power for effective cleaning of objects.
The unit is good to use for cleaning all types of medical lab instruments. Also, you can clean various other items like electronic tools, jewelry, glasses, etc., using this high-tech ultrasonic cleaning machine.
The machine has a large capacity stainless steel tank (1.5L to 6L), digital timer, and heater to make cleaning easy and most efficient.
Although you can use the unit with plain water, using an appropriate ultrasonic cleaner solvent or solution is recommended if the objects are highly soiled or contaminated.
2- TruSonik Ultrasonic Cleaner
TruSonik is one of the best leading ultrasonic cleaner brands that manufacture high-quality industrial-grade ultrasonic cleaning machines for hospitals, labs, and medical centers.
This 2.5 Liter capacity TruSonik ultrasonic cleaner unit comes with a digital timer (for cleaning) and digital temperature control (for heating).
The high-grade industrial transducer gives the machine awesome cleansing power, providing the best cleaning within just a few minutes.
Furthermore, the unit is made up of a 100% stainless steel body which comes with an unconditional money-back guarantee of 1 year.
The company stocks all the spare parts in case the unit needs any replacement or repair.
3- AW Pro Ultrasonic Cleaner
AW Pro digital ultrasonic cleaning machine is another easy-to-use device for cleaning your lab instruments and other hospital surgical devices.
Available with adjustable power and a wide stainless steel tank, this AW Pro heated ultrasonic cleaner can also clean a wide range of other items such as dentures, retainers, shaver heads, jewelry, metal dishwasher, combs and toothbrushes, pen-heads, seals and much more.
Though AW Pro devices are available in a wide range of tank capacities, this particular AW Pro ultrasonic cleaner machine model comes with a 15 L tank capacity, heater, timer, and six sets of built-in transducers for fast, efficient cleaning.
4- GOWE Ultrasonic Cleaner/Washing Machine
Ultrasonic cleaners by Gowe are highly useful for cleaning items in various industries.
This particular model comes with a 10 L capacity with a washing basket.
This GOWE ultrasonic cleaner unit runs on 240W power which produces 40KHz of frequency for cleaning.
400W of heating and its digital controls make the cleaner effective for cleaning all types of medical instruments.
Besides its use in the medical field, this cleaner is also useful in the electronics and engineering field for cleaning electronic components, chips, and small circuit boards.
Depending on the requirement of cleaning items, you can use cleaning solvents such as water, alcohol, acetone, or thinner.
5- Elma Elmasonic Surgical Instrument Ultrasonic Cleaner
Elma is another reliable brand when it comes to buying high-grade industrial ultrasonic cleaning devices for medical instruments.
Although This Elma ultrasonic cleaner unit is not cheap to buy, it offers you effective and easy cleaning for longer surgical instruments.
It has higher tank dimensions (as compared to other devices) which are good for cleaning big-size medical instruments easily.
This Elma Elmasonic S70H Heated Surgical Instrument ultrasonic device comes with precise German construction and an LED display that shows the temp and time.
The complete stainless steel tank is included, making the unit cavitation-resistant, durable and long-lasting.
Overall, this large-sized cleaning device by Elma is ideal for surgeons, veterinarians, and other medical practitioners. The investment made is worth the features it offers.
How to Clean Surgical Instruments Ultrasonically?
Cleaning and sterilization of surgical instruments with the ultrasonic machine are much easier, simpler, and more efficient than the normal manual cleaning process. It is therefore highly recommended.
The Sonic cleaners meant for cleaning surgical instruments use an intense yet gentle process known as cavitation that scrubs away all contaminants from the instrument’s surface and is placed in an ultrasonic cleaner’s cleaning tank.
Here are the quick steps which help in knowing how the process is accomplished safely.
- The surgical and medical instruments having removable parts should be disassembled before you begin with the cleaning procedure.
- For cleaning the items, place all light-weighted instruments like scissors and microsurgery instruments on the top rack of the ultrasonic cleaner device. Surgical instruments that are heavy should be kept in a separate tray.
- Keep sharp instruments that are regularly used separately from non-sharp instruments while washing, as sharp instruments are quite dangerous to handle and can easily harm anyone if not handled properly.
- Now, wash instruments in ultrasonic cleaner as per the directions provided in the instructions manual. Then rinse the surgical instruments in warm water. Allow the instruments to dry thoroughly after the thorough cleaning process.
The ultrasonic cleaning device is undoubtedly an ideal cleaning machine that can be utilized for cleaning surgical instruments that require high precision cleaning on every surface or area.
However, if you want a much higher level of disinfection and sterilization in a research facility, there are advanced treatment methods like using autoclave and chemical sterilants (such as ethylene gas, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, etc.).
Care that you read the steps, time settings, and other details provided with your specific ultrasonic cleaning machine before you use them for the very first time.
Is Cleaning and Sterilizing Same?
No, cleaning generally refers to washing the equipment to remove the dirt and grime. At the same time, sterilization is a term that refers to a process that kills living agents like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and spore forms.
Sterilization is usually achieved by applying chemicals, heat, high pressure, and a few other methods.
Can You Disinfect Surgical Instruments by Heating?
Yes, heating is one of the best ways of sterilizing biological instruments. The method is generally divided into two (dry heat and moist heat).
While the dry heat method is most suited for metal instruments (that are prone to get corroded with moisture), moist heat is mostly used for sterilizing instruments made of fabrics, plastics, rubber, or glass.
How to Sterilize Surgical Instruments Without an Autoclave?
Using an autoclave is the only method by which you can sterilize your instruments perfectly; there are methods like ultrasonic that can help in cleaning the instruments. Although not as great as autoclave, it’s much better than washing the instruments manually.
How to Clean The Greasy Surgical Instruments Manually?
Instruments used in surgery and dental procedures get heavily contaminated with saliva, blood, or tissues and hence need to be thoroughly cleaned manually before the detailed sterilization process.
The process is important to accomplish for lab technicians or assistants so that the instruments can be reused without any risk to patients.
Some of the basic steps involved in this manual process of cleaning the medical parts are:
- After use, rinse surgical instruments under warm running water (avoid hot water) to get rid of all the deposited liquids and tissue.
- Use a stiff nylon brush to clean the instrument using a neutral pH7 detergent – brush up every instrument thoroughly until its surface gets fully cleaned.
- Before cleaning, make sure blades, and hinged instruments are interlocked properly. If you are cleaning suction tubes, check that their interiors are also clean.
- Finally, rinse surgical instruments under warm running water again until they become detergent-free and clean.
- While washing scissors or any hinged instrument, check them carefully by opening and closing them till they become cleaned.
- Now leave instruments under open air (to dry naturally) in a clean area that is free of moisture.
These are the basic steps that help clean the surgical instruments in Hospitals and labs efficiently and safely.
For those who are employed in cleaning surgical instruments, it is recommended to take professional advice from the manufacturers or to read the instruction manuals carefully before employing the particular methods for cleaning the instruments.
This will lower all the risks and help in cleaning the instruments safely and risk-free.
How Long Should You Soak the Instruments?
Soaking time while manually washing the instruments may range from 10 to 15 minutes. Preferably you should soak them in tepid or lukewarm water until all the soiling is softened.
However, do remember that the soaking time will generally also depend on the type of instrument and the procedure it has undergone through.
Safety Precautions To Be Taken while Cleaning Surgical Instruments
Cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing the medical instruments used in surgery and labs is a highly responsible job.
You, therefore, need to follow certain precautions and guidelines for the safety of the individuals involved.
1. Before you start cleaning the laboratory glassware or clinical instruments, wear clean surgical scrubs approved by the hospital authority.
Make sure that these scrubs are laundered and free from any kind of dirt, grime, or soil.
2. To reduce the risk of pathogens, also make sure to wear a liquid-resistant apron, surgical gloves, and eye-wear to protect your eyes while washing the surgical instrument.
3. To protect the surgical instruments from hair & dandruff, wear the surgical headcover. Also, cover your nose with a surgical mask to prevent the spread of bacteria.
4. While cleaning these instruments, make sure to take out your jewelry and watch from your body. Keep your fingernails short and clean.