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How Ultrasonics Are Used to Clean Stainless-Steel Medical Devices

March 23, 2022

Because stainless steel is strong, smooth, and impervious to corrosion or organic contaminants, it is used in many medical devices. Such devices still have to be cleaned before use because of possible surface contamination. Ultrasonics can clean stainless steel medical devices quickly and completely, but choosing the right medical ultrasonic cleaner for the specific cleaning application is important for obtaining the expected cleaning performance.

Medical ultrasonic cleaners can clean faster and more completely than the traditional cleaning methods used in medical facilities. While cleaning and sterilizing in an autoclave is quick, manual pre-cleaning and the removal of left-over residue after cleaning are often required. Ultrasonic cleaners don’t need pre-cleaning and all traces of contamination are removed during the ultrasonic cleaning process. When a disinfectant is added to the cleaning solution, stainless steel parts are clean, sterile, and ready to use after cleaning with ultrasonics.

Ultrasonics Can Remove Different Types of Medical Device Contamination

Stainless steel medical devices have to be cleaned at different stages of their use and different types of contaminants may have to be removed. For some devices, the production process leaves residues, or dirt may have accumulated after the part leaves the manufacturing facility. Other medical instruments may need cleaning and sterilization before use. Ultrasonic cleaners can be customized to deliver superior performance for each cleaning application.

The manufacture of stainless-steel medical devices may leave traces that have to be removed before use. When machining or laser cutting is used to manufacture a part, the process can leave cutting residue or oily films on the part surfaces. Parts such as tubes or instruments with complicated shapes can be difficult to clean completely. Scrubbing may damage smooth surfaces and can’t easily clean inside long, narrow tubes. Leaving manufacturing residue on parts can negatively affect patient outcomes.

Even if the manufacturer cleans the stainless-steel part before shipping it, the part can accumulate contaminants during shipping, while in storage, or from the medical facility environment itself. Protocols for medical devices used in the care of patients often call for cleaning and sterilization just before use. If the device or instrument has heat-sensitive components, it can’t be placed in an autoclave. Soaking and manual cleaning are time-consuming and contaminants in hard-to-reach places may be missed.

Many stainless-steel instruments can accumulate organic contamination from a patient and have to be cleaned before reuse. Thorough cleaning and sterilization are critical to avoid transferring pathogens from one patient to another. Medically-trained personnel often have to spend a lot of time carrying out this work when they could be using their professional training to help patients.

Medical ultrasonic cleaners can remove manufacturing residue from all types of medical devices. If a device has to be cleaned before use, ultrasonic cleaners can deliver clean, sterile parts quickly. Using ultrasonics for cleaning stainless steel instruments before re-use to remove organic matter can save time and free up personnel to carry out medical tasks. Ultrasonic cleaners can remove these different types of contamination safely and without pre-cleaning or follow-up manual cleaning.

Kaijo Can Provide the Right Ultrasonic System for Your Medical Device Cleaning Application

Choosing the right ultrasonic cleaning system is critical for optimum cleaning performance. If a device combines another material with stainless steel or if several contaminants are present, custom ultrasonic cleaners can be designed accordingly. A custom medical ultrasonic cleaner can be configured with specific frequencies, a heated cleaning solution tank, or special detergents in the cleaning solution. Kaijo can help with the selection of the right system and can provide ultrasonic technology that will deliver superior cleaning performance for all types of stainless-steel medical devices.