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Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways: Guideline for Instrument Cleaning

Publish Date: December 8, 2021

NEW: The recently revised Guideline for Instrument Cleaning presents new recommendations to support instrument processing in the decontamination area.

RECOMMENDATION: Use a decontamination area that has adequate space and the equipment, utilities, and supplies to support instrument processing as described in the instrument manufacturer’s instructions for use (IFU).


  • A work environment that supports best practices has
    • manufacturers’ IFU that are readily available and in a format that users can read and understand; 
    • eyewash stations and a designated hand hygiene station(s); 
    • NEW multiple sinks that are
      • designated for soaking and cleaning, intermediate rinse, and final rinse;
      • large enough to accommodate instrument trays;
      • at an ergonomically correct height; and
      • marked at the water level needed for cleaning solution measurement;
    • storage space for PPE and cleaning supplies;
    • automated equipment (eg, washer-disinfector, ultrasonic cleaner) consistent with the types of instruments to be cleaned and decontaminated;
    • adaptors and accessories to connect instruments with cleaning equipment and utilities;
    • NEW utilities that support decontamination, drying, inspection, and documentation, including
      • access to critical water for rinsing instruments;
      • a pressure-regulated, instrument air supply;
      • electrical capacity to power all equipment at the same time;
      • data lines to support electronic equipment for documentation of processing steps; and
      • accessories and supplies specified in the manufacturers’ IFU for instruments to be processed.

For more information see the Guideline for Instrument Cleaning, Guidelines for Perioperative Practice, 2021

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