5.7 The Sharps and Decontamination Policy


Rinse tools under cool or warm clean water quickly after use to eliminate all blood, biological fluids, and tissue. Dry soils can cause damage to the instrument’s surface and make cleaning difficult. Using hot water will cause protein-rich compounds to congeal.

Techniques for Cleaning

The cleaning process is influenced by time, temperature, and agitation.

  • Chemical cleaning efficiency is frequently time-dependent.
  • Temperature cleaning solutions perform better at higher temperatures.
  • Agitation, whether manual or ultrasonic, aids in softening the soil on the instrument’s exterior.

Although stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, improper handling can cause it to rust and stain. You can remove the discoloration with a pencil eraser to see if it’s rust or just a stain. Corrosion is present if there is pitting in the metal beneath the discoloration. But if the discoloration was eliminated, then the metal was only stained.

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