Cleaning and Sterilizing of Medical Equipment


SEE POLICYCA.56.01.100 Environmental Cleaning of Equipment and Supplies by Employees​


Category:  Clinical Services
Subject:  Environmental Cleaning of Equipment and Supplies by Employees
Division:  Community Health and Wellness
Procedure Number:  CA.72.02.602
Effective Date:  October 26, 2017


Procedure for cleaning of medical devices/equipment:

  1. Remove soiled medical devices/equipment from clinic room using the latched container labeled “soiled” to the reprocessing room.
  1. Ensure proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is donned prior to cleaning.
  1. Pre-clean instrument as soon as possible after use so that organic material such as mucus, blood, pus, faeces, saliva etc will not dry on it.  Pre-clean with wet gauze, disposable wipes or paper towel.
  1. If cleaning cannot be done immediately, the equipment must be submerged in tepid water and enzymatic detergent (Germiphene) to prevent organic material from drying on it. Goggles and rubber gloves should be worn when using this product- See MSDS for additional information. Gross soil must be removed prior to the cleaning of instruments.
  2. If disassembly is required prior to cleaning, complete this now prior to submerging in solution.
  3. Completely submerge items during the cleaning process to minimize aerolization of microorganisms and to assist in cleaning, follow enzymatic detergent instructions for dilution and amount of time required for soaking.
  4. Using an instrument brush clean the instrument under water level to minimize splashing.
  5. Rinse all equipment and devices thoroughly after cleaning with running water to remove residues that might react with the disinfectant/sterilant.
  6. Tools used to assist in cleaning (brushes, cloths, rubber gloves) must be manually cleaned and disinfected after use (or disposed of).
  7. In Fergus, trained staff have access to use the hydrim for cleaning prior to sending for sterilization.
  8. Ensure that the “soiled” container is wiped clean using ACCEL wipes.


  1. Dry all devices/equipment to prevent spotting by either air dry or dry by hand with lint-free towels.


  1. Visually inspect all equipment/ devices once the cleaning process has been completed and prior to sterilization to ensure cleanliness and integrity (e.g. defects).
  2. Repeat the cleaning process on any item that is not clean.
  3. Reassembly is only required prior to sterilization if the manufacturer’s instructions require it.

If wrapping is required:

  1. Wrap instruments in autoclave wrapping or sterilization pouch prior to sterilization. Ensure that an internal chemical indicator is enclosed in the package if using autoclave wrapping.  Sterilization pouches contain internal and external indicator.
  2. Ensure all instruments that are in pouches or wrapped are labelled according to contents inclusive of size of instrument: i.e. small speculum.

Storage (awaiting sterilization):

  1. Place the items to be sterilized in the instrument cupboard in the reprocessing room within the plastic bin labeled “Transport.”
  2. If an instrument does not require wrapping, place it inside an appropriate storage bag, ensuring it is labeled correctly. Store it in the plastic bin labeled “Transport”.
  3. A staff member from Clinical Services will retrieve the items and transport to Guelph General Hospital for sterilization.

Post Sterilization:

  1. The items will be returned to the clinic in the “clean” latched bin, and the transport bin will be returned.
  2. Store all sterilized items above floor level in an area that is away from debris, drains, moisture, sinks and vermin.


Management will:

  • Ensure availability of products for cleaning and sterilizing;
  • Ensure personal protective supplies are available for staff; and
  • Ensure staff are trained in the use of cleaning products, personal protective devices and infection control standards under this procedure.

Employees will:

  • Be familiar with the transmission routes of various bacteria, viruses and fungi that can cause infectious diseases; and
  • Take the necessary precautions to prevent the transmission of disease-causing organisms by following this procedure and reviewing applicable documents relevant to infection control (i.e. PIDAC). 


Corresponding Policy: CA.56.01.100 Environmental Cleaning of Equipment and Supplies by Employees

WDGPH Oral Health policies, procedures and guidelines

Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC). Best Practices for cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Medical Equipment/Devices. Published April 2007. Revised May 2013


Manager, Clinical Services


Director, Community Health and Wellness