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Healthcare Applications for Ultrasonic Cleaners

The advent of ultrasonic cleaning technology has been a boon to many industries. Ultrasonic cleaning units can be found in businesses ranging from jewelry stores to nail salons. Arguably, the industry where ultrasonic cleaners have had the most impact is in the health care arena. Ultrasonic cleaners have proven useful in removing blood, skin and other biological contaminants from delicate medical instruments as part of the cleaning and sterilization process

Elmasonic S Series Ultrasonic Cleaners

How an Ultrasonic Cleaner Works

An ultrasonic cleaner from uses a generator and set of transducers to create high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves reverberate through a metal tank and agitate the water in the tank to produce millions of microscopic bubbles. These bubbles implode and release energy in a process known as “cavitation”. The cavitation effect destroys the bond between the contaminants and surface materials.

Advantages of an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners save time and effort and improve safety in the instrument cleaning process. The action of the ultrasonic cleaner can remove contaminants with water and special detergents, rather than with solvents or other harsh chemicals employed when workers clean tools by hand, which also contributes to better worker safety conditions and less environmental impact. The microscopic bubbles can reach into the hinges, small cavities and crevices and remove debris that brushes, cleaning cloths and other hand-held instruments can’t access. And most important, cleaning in an ultrasonic bath avoids the risk involved in handling sharp instruments that are contaminated with biological fluids.

Home Healthcare

With concerns about various strains of the influenza virus abounding in the news, some families have taken it upon themselves to initiate their own protective measures against these debilitating diseases. These families have purchased small ultrasonic cleaning units to remove biological contaminants from combs, toothbrushes, nail trimmers and other household items in order to prevent the spread of disease. While an ultrasonic cleaner is not a substitute for an autoclave or other means of sterilization, it can reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Dentists’ Offices

In the course of a typical day, a dentist can use several tools, including hooks, clamps, and drills, to work on patients’ teeth. These instruments require special care and cleaning after each use. The ultrasonic cleaner effectively removes blood, saliva, and other biological materials from these instruments. Since most ultrasonic cleaning tasks can be accomplished in less than fifteen minutes, the instruments can be ready for sterilization and reuse much quicker than if they were cleaned by other methods.

Surgical Instruments

Ultrasonic cleaners have also proven effective in cleaning surgical tools, including scalpels, forceps, and scissors. These delicate instruments must be cleaned and sterilized repeatedly during their useful lifetimes, without dulling their effectiveness. The gentle action of the ultrasonic cleaner removes the bodily fluids and other materials from the surfaces, but does not do so at the cost of the scalpel’s edge or the forceps’ grip.

Elma S Series of Ultrasonic Cleaners

A medical instrument that is not totally clean cannot be effectively sterilized. Although ultrasonic cleaners cannot sterilize or disinfect instruments, these units speed up the cleaning process and remove contaminants that other methods can’t reach. The use of ultrasonic cleaners in healthcare settings has saved time, money, and, quite possibly, lives.


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