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Researcher, Imperial College National Heart and Lung Institute

Julian was fantastic, he patiently walked me through the steps for diagnosing issues with our syringe pump. We found it was a simple belt that was broken and he sent out a replacement part the same day.
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Caring For Your Surgical Instrument Investment: Ultrasonic Cleaning

Caring For Your Surgical Instrument Investment: Ultrasonic Cleaning

In this video, you can see how to mechanically clean surgical instruments using an ultrasonic cleaner. This video is loaded with tips. This video is the third in a series of four to discuss some best practices in caring for your surgical instrument investment.


Ultrasonic is the most effective cleaning method, because of its cavitation. Vibrating sound waves create micron-size bubbles in solution that grow as the pressure in the unit changes. Eventually the bubbles implode. The bursting bubbles effectively dislodge debris, even in the most difficult to reach places. Use of ultrasonic detergent greatly improves the effectiveness of the cleaner, because it increases the number of tiny bubbles.


Rinsing Instruments

Immediately after use, rinse instruments under warm or cool running water to remove all blood, body fluids and tissue. Dried soils may damage the instrument surface and make cleaning difficult. Do not use hot water since this causes proteinous substances to coagulate.




  1. Before you begin, fill the ultrasonic cleaner with deionized water and enzymatic cleaner like Enzol according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You may also use a neutral pH or mild alkaline detergent like Alconox.
  2. Run the cleaner for several minutes to allow the temperature to equilibrate and to remove any gases from the solution.
  3. Separate instruments by metal type and process them in batches. For example, do not mix chrome plated and stainless steel instruments in the same cleaning cycle.
  4. Fully submerge all instruments.
  5. Place hinged instruments into the solution in an open position. (Make sure that any sharp instruments do not touch other instruments.)
  6. Allow the instruments to process for 5–10 minutes before removing them from the ultrasonic bath .
  7. Rinse instruments with water to remove ultrasonic cleaning solution and any remaining soil.
  8. Visually inspect each instrument.
  9. Dry instruments thoroughly with a clean towel. This minimizes the risk of corrosion and formation of water spots.
  10. Spray a lubricant on the hinges to improve function of instrument.
  11. Lubricate instruments after last rinse cycle and before sterilization cycle.

After proper cleaning, your instruments are ready for sterilization.

Our Clients Include:

University College London
Imperial College
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford

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