The use of automated cleaning methods may be contra-indicated for washing certain delicate or complex instruments including the removal of gross soil prior to the Automated Washer Disinfection process. These instruments should be carefully cleaned and rinsed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
We suggest the following:
• Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on cleaning and decontamination process and to determine whether the instrument will tolerate immersion.
• They should be cleaned, handled and inspected according to manufacturer’s instructions.
• The instructions for cleaning and sterilisation should be such that if correctly followed the device can be reused, without causing injury to patients and personnel using the instrument.
• A separate dedicated sink should be used to manually clean/pre clean instruments.
• There should be adequate space provided as a “Dirty” put-down area adjacent to the wash sink close to the rinse sink.
• A validated method of dispensing a measured quantity of detergent should be in place and set as per chemical manufacturer’s recommendations.
• A method of controlling temperature of the water in the wash and rinse sinks including thermostatic mixer taps are preferred.
• A selection of brushes in a range of diameters and lengths for cleaning both the external surfaces and the internal surfaces of instruments should be available and used in accordance with the brush and instrument manufacturer’s recommendations, as some brushes are “single use”.
• Cleaning brushes should be identified for cleaning only and should be washed, thermally disinfected, and stored dry (if reusable).