Comparison of cleaning and drying performance of different designs of instrument baskets

Authors: Gerhard Kirmse1, Marcel Graf2

1Director Technical Competence Center, Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen, Germany, 2Process Technology
Manager, BBM Schweiz, Sempach, Switzerland

Instruments baskets made from sheet metal (compared to wires) protect instruments better but drying and cleaning performance are frequently controversially discussed. This study compares drying of loads of 50 standard instruments in wire and sheet metals baskets under different drying temperatures and times, with and without rinse aid (different formulas and dosages). The weight difference is measured before and after cleaning in repeated cycles.
The cleaning performance is compared by a PCD (Process Challenge Device) system (Helimatic Performance Qualification), which is based on a detachable box-locks und two different cleaning processes.
It turns out that for both parameters there is no significant difference of the results by the basket design. The drying result is mainly influenced by the drying time and the position in the chamber (the drying temperature is less influential). The use of rinse aid can shorten the drying time under these circumstances by 5 – 10 min. The cleaning performance was in similar ways influenced by process design and level in the chamber.
Another common observation in daily practice are stains on instruments which mirror the basket structure, either after cleaning/disinfection or steam sterilization. This has to be addressed by optimizing the media quality. So processes should be optimized based on worst case positions and loads based on the individual installation and process requirements.

Read more in Steri-World Issue 02/18.

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