Autoclaves, like other devices, also need regular maintenance to ensure optimum results. Without regular cleaning, servicing & maintenance, an autoclave is much more likely to experience breakdowns, slower than expected sterilisation cycles and other problems leading to inefficiency and expensive repairs.
Fortunately, most of these problems can be avoided by taking proper care of this device. Here’re a few tips on how to take care of your autoclave:
1. Have a routine and follow it
You need to set a cleaning routine that should include daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks.
The autoclave should be cleaned daily and staff should look for any signs of cracking or excessive wear. Calibration should also be checked daily with easily available test strips.
The trays and rack should be cleaned thoroughly at least once every week. The water reservoir should be drained out and filled with fresh water.
On a monthly basis, a biological live spore check should be done to check whether proper sterilisation is happening. The flush lines and chamber should be cleaned as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. The power cord should also be checked at least once a month for signs of cracks.
2. Cleaning sterilisation chamber
Check the manual to find out the recommended frequency of cleaning for the sterilisation chamber. In most cases, it should be thoroughly cleaned at least once every hundred cycles. In many cases, regular autoclave use results in build up of residues at the bottom of the chamber.
This residue needs to be removed to ensure proper sterilisation. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to clean the sterilisation chamber. In any case, you should not use any disinfectants for cleaning sterilisation chamber.
3. Cleaning water tank
Water tank should be cleaned at least once every week. In addition to replacing the stored water with freshwater, you should also take the time to get rid of any impurities or deposits at the bottom and walls of the water tank.
It will help in protecting the filters. Keep in mind that these water tanks also have sensors which should be protected during the cleaning.
4. Rust prevention
Rust is a big problem and it usually happens due to introduction of instruments with rust. Even if a single instrument that has a rust stain is placed inside the sterilisation chamber, it could lead to rusting of the autoclave and other instruments.
Also, use of water with chlorine or detergents or disinfectants may lead to formation of rust. This is why you should always use distilled water. Regular cleaning following the manufacturer’s recommendations should help avoid rust formation.
5. Annual preventive maintenance check
You should engage the services of a maintenance company to thoroughly check, test and calibrate the device at least once each year. During the service, they will also check the seals, filters and baskets and replace them, if needed.
Autoclaves are expensive and nobody wants to spend money on repairs or a complete replacement much earlier than expected. Setting up a cleaning routine with daily, weekly and monthly tasks will go a long way in preventing build-up of rust and residues.
Also, you should engage an experienced and reliable maintenance company for yearly check-ups and maintenance to prevent expensive repairs and earlier than expected replacement.
MES Australia has been active in the medical instruments industry for more than 7 decades. We offer a wide range of autoclaves and other dental instruments at affordable prices.
Give us a call today at (03) 9331 6796 to know more about our autoclaves collection and related services.