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How to Duplicate Perfect Results for Ultrasonic Labware Cleaning

Ultrasonic labware cleaning is faster, safer, and more thorough than scrubbing, soaking, and even using steam. But how can you make sure that every time you use your ultrasonic cleaner the results will be the same? Let's take a look at the steps you should take to ensure that your labware and instruments are cleaned perfectly each time.

Laboratory ultrasonic cleaning delivers consistent results as long as the operator is consistent. Make sure that you are using the proper cleaning solution and then change it when it is visibly dirty or if you notice less bubble activity. Check to ensure that the solution is not below the level indicator in the tank. Use the right temperature for the proper amount of time for the type of item being cleaned. Variations in any of these factors can alter the results.

Before you can begin, the cleaning solution should be degassed. This means that the air entrained in the cleaning solution has to be removed. This can be achieved by raising the temperature and then running the ultrasonic energy for 10-30 minutes. You know that it completely degassed when you see no bubbles rising to the surface. Degassing is necessary only when the bath is filled with fresh cleaning solution. Ultrasonic cleaners from equipped with a Degas mode achieve rapid degassing by pulsing the ultrasonic power, shortening the degas time to 5-10 minutes.

labware ultrasonic cleaning
Labware ultrasonic cleaner

It is important that you use a basket or a tray for ultrasonic cleaning labware. It cannot touch the ultrasonic membrane (the bottom of the tank). Whether you are cleaning glassware, disposable labware, plasticware, your lab tools, etc., this last step should be followed. Make sure you properly rinse the items with water that has been deionized or filtered using reverse osmosis rather than tap water. This will ensure that your items will dry completely and without spots. 

Ultrasonic instrument cleaning is fast and safe. For each run to be equally effective, you need to keep an eye on the cleaning solution and make sure that the temperatures and times remain consistent. Items to be cleaned should be raised at least ½ inch above the bottom of the tank using a basket or tray. Finally, make sure that each item is rinsed properly.


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