According to the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, an early spring is supposed to be just around the corner. And for many of us, that means spring cleaning season is not far behind. On the other hand, the outside temperatures here in New Jersey are still very cold and piles of snow from the latest storm linger in the Case Medical parking lot. Since spring cleaning season might be further away than Phil promised, let’s dip our toe into the subject by focusing on pre-cleaning (in the SPD, of course).
The Nuts and Bolts of Pre-Cleaning
Pre-cleaning includes wiping away gross soils, soaking, rinsing, and any other initial steps taken to make the actual manual or automated cleaning process easier and more effective. Pre-cleaning is a necessary first step in instrument processing because it prevents bioburden from drying into a hardened mass, making instruments more difficult to clean and sterilize and potentially leading to pitting and other damage to instrument surfaces.
Pre-cleaning is most effective when performed immediately after procedures in the OR or procedure room but is also an effective first step in the sterile processing department. In either case, it is critical to use the right products for pre-cleaning because some may not be effective—and others could even make the situation worse.
For example, some gel-based products can dry into a film, trapping microscopic contaminants on instruments in a nearly invisible shell that is able to withstand subsequent cleaning and sterilization steps. While these instruments may look clean to the naked eye, they can be breeding grounds for bacteria and other bioburden that can cause infections and other surgical complications in later use.
Your Pre-Cleaning Tool Kit
Case Medical provides a complete line of water disbursible, free rinsing pre-cleaning products that are both safe and effective when used according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- PentaPrep® Multi-Enzymatic Pre-soak Spray & Foam is a highly effective, multi-enzymatic cleaner for soaking instruments as soon as possible after surgery.
- PentaWipes® Multi-Enzymatic Surface Cleaning Wipes are non-linting cloths, pre-moistened with our PentaPrep cleaner, that are used to remove gross soil.
- CasePrep® Non-Enzymatic Pre-soak Spray & Foam is a highly effective, non-enzymatic alternative to PentaPrep pre-soak for applications where facilities prefer a non-enzymatic pre-cleaner.
- SchmutzOff® Descaler Stainless Steel Cleaner is an acid-based cleaner that effectively removes lime scale, grease, rust, and other forms of discoloration form stainless steel instruments.
- Endocope Pre-Clean Bedside Kits provide small, single-use bottles of PentaZyme® cleaner combined with three, individually packaged PentaWipes® cleaning wipes to allow quick and mess-free pre-cleaning of flexible endoscopes at point of use.
All Case Medical pre-cleaners* are US FDA Safer Choice products which means they are not only highly effective but also safer for patients, staff, and the environment. As we anxiously await a spring thaw, let’s dig in to pre-cleaning and set the stage for a highly successful round of spring cleaning (and subsequent sterilization).
*SchmutzOff® Descaler Stainless Steel Cleaner does not carry the US FDA Safer Choice label.