Preparation of Instruments for Steam Sterilization

Instruments to be sterilized must be free from all residual matter, such as blood or organic tissue. Instruments must also be dry and free from mineral deposits. Such substances may cause damage to the instruments or Sterilizer.

  1. Clean instruments immediately after use. It is recommended that instruments be cleaned using the Tuttnauer CLEAN AND SIMPLE Ultrasonic Cleaning System along with the Tuttnauer CLEAN AND SIMPLE enzymatic cleaning solution.
  2. After ultrasonic cleaning, rinse for 30 seconds & pat dry.
  3. Follow instrument manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and lubricating instruments.
  4. Be sure that instruments of dissimilar metals (stainless steel, carbon steel, etc.) are separated. Carbon steel instruments should be bagged or placed on autoclavable towels and not directly on stainless steel trays. (Mixing will result in the oxidation of those metals.
  5. Check manufacturer's instructions as to the proper procedure for sterilizing each item. The instrument manufacturer can give specific information on proper sterilization temperature and sterilization time
          for any item.
  6. Items must be sterilized in an open position.
  7. Place a sterilization indicator in each tray or inside each wrapped pack.
  8. At least once per week use a biological spore test (Bacillus Stearothermophilus) in any load to insure proper sterilization. The spore test should be placed in an area that is the most difficult for the steam to reach. (Be aware testing standards may vary)
  9. Make sure that all instruments remain apart during the sterilization cycle.
  10. Empty canisters should be placed upside-down in order to prevent accumulation of water.
  11. Do not overload Sterilizer trays. Overloading will cause inadequate sterilization &drying.
  12. Allow a distance of about 1" between trays or cassettes to permit steam circulation.
  13. Wrapped instruments should be placed in material which will allow steam penetration and promote drying, such as an autoclave bag, autoclavable paper, or muslin towels.
  14. Do not stack pouches. It is recommended that a Tuttnauer POUCH RACK is used to provide proper spacing and insure steam penetration and adequate drying.