Virtually all manufacturers of surgical instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend the use of neutral pH cleaning concentrates. Neutral pH detergent cleaning lubricant concentrates have been shown to be effective in optimizing the efficacy of the passive oxide layer. This will provide a longer life for stainless steel surgery instruments. Cleaning concentrates with a high or low pH have been shown to erode the passive layer. The most common of these cleaning concentrates utilize an alkaline detergent with an acid neutralizer. Virtually all manufacturers of surgical instruments and surgical instrument containers recommend against using these detergents and recommend using a neutral ph detergent. More information and studies regarding the passive oxide layer of Surgical Instruments is below. Surgical instrument detergent enzyme lubricant cleaners cut costs. Surgical instrument detergent enzyme lubricants remove stains while they lubricate moving parts. Surgical instrument detergent enzyme lubricants are designed to prevent corrosion.
Interpreting Rust Yellow Brown to Dark-brown stains and Surgical Instrument Cleaners. Yellow-brown to dark-brown stains or spots on surgical stainless steel instruments are frequently mistaken for rust. These residue deposits stains or spots arranged in groups or along edges or in crevices are usually the instrument being exposed to result of high chloride content. They will lead to pitting of the surgical instrument surface if not removed. Excessively hard water can contain high levels of salt sufficient to cause stains or spots that appear as rust. Boilers used to generate the steam for steam sterilizers, if not cleaned properly, will produce contaminated steam which can deposit minerals onto instruments during the sterilization process. Neutral pH Surgical Instruments Cleaners are recommended by the manufacturers of surgical instruments. Virtually all manufacturers of surgical instruments, rigid scopes, flexible scopes, and instrument containers recommend the use of neutral pH Cleaning Concentrates. Generic Example of this recommendation: Do not use high acidic (pH <4) or high alkaline (pH >10) products for disinfection or cleaning, since these can corrode metal, cause discoloration or stress fractures. Do not use abrasive pads or abrasive Cleaning Concentrates , which will scratch the surface allowing dirt and water deposits to collect. Abrasive cleaning will remove the protective passive layer. Do not use Cleaning Concentrates with high concentrations of chlorine bleach to clean or disinfect stainless steel instruments, as pitting will occur. Never use bleach to clean any surgical instruments. The high pH of bleach causes surface deposits of brown stains and might even corrode the instrument. Even high quality stainless steel is not impervious to an acidic bleach solution. Sort instruments by similar metal for subsequent processing so that electrolytic deposition (galvanic corrosion) due to contact between dissimilar metals will not occur. Lubrication of Surgical Instruments using surgical instrument cleaners maintains moving parts and protects instruments from staining and rusting during sterilization and storage. Instruments should be lubricated with a water-soluble, lubricant after each cleaning. Most automated washer decontaminators provide the option for lubrication at the end of the final rinse treatment. Since effective ultrasonic cleaning removes all lubricant, re-lubrication is important. all-in-one cleaning concentrates will provide lubrication. The lubricant should contain a chemical preservative to prevent bacterial growth in the lubricant bath. The bath solution should be made with de-mineralized water. A lubricant containing a rust inhibitor helps prevent electrolytic corrosion of points and edges. Immediately after cleaning, instruments should be immersed or rinsed for 30 seconds and allowed to drain off, not wiped off. A lubricant film will remain through the sterilization to protect surgery instruments during storage. Surgical instrument detergent enzyme lubricant cleaners cut costs. The easy FOAM-it surgical instrument cleaner cleans surgical instruments faster and cleaning surgical instruments cleaner while removing stains from surgical instruments with lower costs. Your first-line-of-defense against Preventing Corrosion is maintaining the passive surgical instrument layer of Surgical Instruments. Stainless steel surgery instruments are made of corrosion resistant high-grade specialty steels. Corrosion resistant does not mean corrosion proof. The manufacturer forms a passive oxide layer on the surface, which protects them against corrosion. This makes surgery instruments as corrosion resistant as possible. It is imperative that you maintain the passive oxide layer to prevent corrosion and maintain your surgery instruments in optimal condition. If this is not done the stainless steel will be more susceptible to corrosion, pitting and stains.This will reduce the life of the surgery instruments and/or render it useless. Initially, all stainless steel surgical instruments have the same corrosion resistance. When strength and hardness requirements are important factors for instrument function, corrosion resistance is generally lower. Increasing the corrosion resistance would soften the stainless steel. Prevent Staining and Spotting with ONEcleaner surgical instrument cleaners. Staining and spotting may result if residual chemicals are not completely rinsed from surgery instruments that are subjected to steam sterilization. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper sequence of treatments (cold water pre-wash, enzyme-detergent wash, purified water rinse/lubrication, and drying) is critical to prevent stains and spots. A Cleaning Concentrates that will avoid spotting are free-rinsing or rinse clean. The passive layer of surgical instruments is placed on surgical instruments by the manufacturer. Studies of the stainless steel passive layer, desigend to prevent stain9ng and corrosion, have revealed a reduction in corrosion prevention and an increase in staining with the use of cleaning concentrates that are not neutral pH. The use of cleaning concentrates that deliver an acid rinse will release nickel from the stainless steel and decrease the efficacy of the passive layer. This is most critical on initial reprocessing events of stainless steel surgical instruments. Measurable levels of nickel have been detected. It was also shown that, as the number of subsequent uses increased, the level of nickel release diminished and reached a steady state. These observations reflect the changes that occur in the passive oxide layer on first immersion of stainless steels in aqueous media. Contact us for information that will lower your surgical instrument cleaning costs and deliver the surgical instrument care that you and your surgical instruments deserve. Prevent Surgical Instrument Corrosion and Stains. Prevent Surgical Instrument Corrosion and Remove Stains.