Cleaning & Disinfection Process for Metallic Surgical Instruments

Cleaning and disinfection of metallic surgical instruments is important to prevent the spread of infections and disease in healthcare settings. When surgical instruments are not properly cleaned and disinfected, they can transmit harmful pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, from one patient to another.

Why is it vital?

If surgical instruments are not properly cleaned and disinfected, they can become contaminated with bacteria, blood, tissue, and other bodily fluids. This contamination can lead to the spread of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, and other bloodborne pathogens.

In addition to the risk of patient infection, contaminated surgical instruments can also lead to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who come into contact with contaminated instruments are at increased risk of developing infections and diseases, which can compromise their health and the quality of care they provide to patients.


Proper cleaning and disinfection of metallic surgical instruments help to reduce the risk of infection and disease transmission. By following strict cleaning and disinfection guidelines, healthcare workers can help to ensure that surgical instruments are free of contamination and safe for use on patients. This, in turn, can help to improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections in healthcare workers.

What are the steps? 

Here is a general process for cleaning and disinfecting surgical instruments:

1. The devices must be placed on a silicone mat in the ultrasonic cleaner. DO NOT place devices in contact with any metal surface on the ultrasonic cleaner.

2. To reduce or avoid endotoxin contamination, it is recommended to change the cleaning solution from the ultrasound cleaner after each and every use.

3. If more than one device is being placed in the ultrasonic cleaner, ensure that none of the devices have any large areas of corrosion (rusted, flaky, or deep stained) before placing them in the cleaner.

4. When using an enzymatic detergent, care must be taken to submerge the device completely in the cleaning solution.

5. Turn on the ultrasonic bath (38 KHz) for 10 minutes.

6. After the ultrasonic treatment, scrub the inside and outside of the device with a suitable soft-bristled nylon brush until all visible soil is removed. Flush the internal channels and the outside with distilled or deionized water to remove the cleaning detergent. A free flow of water through the device is required.

8. Ensure that the ultrasonic bath is not contaminated before use. Contamination can increase the risk of corrosion and impairs the effective cleaning process. Criteria for contamination – visibly observe the water in the bath for contaminations, dirt, debris, or other coloration of the water. If contamination is observed, the water bath must be replaced with new distilled or deionized water.

It’s important to note that different surgical instruments may require different cleaning and disinfection processes. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning and disinfection guidelines for each instrument. Additionally, it’s important to follow standard operating procedures and guidelines for infection control to minimize the risk of infections and disease transmission.

Legal Disclaimer

All the information provided on the above blog is purely for information. It’s important to advise readers not to solely rely on the information provided on the site to take any set of actions and seek consultations from healthcare professionals to receive personalized advice or treatment.

Madhu Instruments

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