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Cleaning Hinged Handcuffs and Other Police Equipment

Cleaning hinged handcuffs, leg irons, hobbles and other restraint devices that come in contact with skin is an important safety precaution to avoid infections transmitted to and among suspects and law enforcement officers. Complex surfaces including chains, latching mechanisms and locks cannot be thoroughly cleaned by simple washing, which is why a tabletop ultrasonic cleaner should be in every police precinct and in every highway patrol barrack.

Why Ultrasonic Cleaning Works Best for Hinged Handcuffs

Ultrasonic cleaning uses the power of cavitation in the cleaning bath. Cavitation is the implosion of billions of minute bubbles produced by generator powered transducers. The implosions quickly blast away all contaminants from restraint equipment immersed in the cleaning solution. It should be a standard operating procedure in precincts and barracks so law enforcement officers immediately clean and disinfect equipment after the suspect is secured in custody.

How to Clean Handcuffs, Leg Irons and Hobbles

Note: While ultrasonic cleaning is widely used in a variety of applications it may not be suitable for certain restraint designs and/or materials. Consult the user manual or check with the manufacturer.

For this illustration we use the 1.5 gallon capacity Elmasonic EH150EL cleaner equipped with an on-off switch, an ultrasound start-stop switch, a heater, and timer. The unit’s automatic sweep function evenly distributes 37 kHz (37,000 cycles per second) cavitation energy throughout the cleaning solution. The separately ordered mesh bottom basket has dimensions of 10 x 4.5 x 3 inches deep. Other capacities are available in the series.

A Suggested Cleaning Procedure

1. Solution Preparation. Add water to the ultrasonic cleaner’s fill line and the correct amount of cleaning solution concentrate. We suggest using 1 – 3 ounces per gallon Med Clean C7, an enzymatic alkaline liquid detergent concentrate. It is biodegradable and especially formulated to remove blood, tissue, bodily excretions and other contaminants from metals, plastics, hard rubber and similar surfaces.

2. Turn on the ultrasound for approximately 10 minutes to mix the solution and remove trapped air. This is called degassing and must be done each time you prepare a fresh solution.

After the solution is prepared you are ready to clean. Med-Clean C7 works best between 40? and 60?C. Depending on workload you may want to keep the unit running in that temperature range. Otherwise you can turn the unit off and restart it by hand or automatically by temperature control.

3. Rinse the restraint devices in hot water and arrange in the ultrasonic cleaner’s basket. Lower the basket into the solution and set the timer for 10 minutes.

4. At the end of the cycle remove and inspect, then rinse again in hot water to remove cleaning solution residue.

5. Thoroughly dry the equipment using a hot air dryer to remove all traces of moisture then lubricate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When cleaning efficiency drops the solution should be drained and disposed of according to local regulations. Clean the ultrasonic tank following instructions in the user manual then fill it with a fresh solution.

Law enforcement agencies also employ the power of cavitation action to clean and lubricate firearms. We invite you to check our posts on gun ultrasonic cleaning .

Contact the iUltrasonic professionals at 973 440-2191 for answers to your questions on cleaning law enforcement equipment and recommendations on the size of cleaner best suited to your requirements.


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