Sanitation Process

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What does SANITIZE mean? "to free from dirt, germs, etc., as by cleaning or sterilizing." 


What does CLEAN mean? "free from dirt, marks, or stains."


What does DISINFECT mean? "clean (something), especially with a chemical, in order to destroy bacteria."


What does STERILIZE mean?: "make (something) free from bacteria or other living microorganisms."


This means that the overall process is to SANITIZE, the three steps in that process are to clean, to disinfect, and to sterilize. Washington state requires us to do the first two steps, we have always cleaned our implements with hot water, antibacterial soap, and a brush. This removes the debris from the implements and cleans them. Then we rinse with hot water, and place the implements in a disinfection solution, usually we use Barbicide, for ten minutes. We remove the implements, rinse in hot water, dry them and either use them or store them in a tub for the next service. 


Sterilization of implements is not required, only two state do require sterilization. One of the arguments against sterilizing implements is that the environment we work in is not sterile, like an operating room in a hospital is, so sterilized implements are no longer sterile as soon as you take them out of the pouch. Buuuut it seems to us that they would be much cleaner even in our non-sterile environment! So we have updated our "sanitation process" to the following:

 

Our implements are still cleaned, although not as carefully due to the next step.

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We have added ultrasonic cleaning to our process! Implements are now placed in an ultrasonic cleaner which has water and a detergent in it, they are in there for ten minutes and all of the debris is removed. 
This is the CLEAN step of the sanitation process.

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Next our implements are rinsed and submerged in BioSurf, a liquid disinfectant which has a one minute disinfection time. They are removed, rinsed, and dried.
This is the DISINFECT step in the sanitation process.
We could stop here, but we are not done yet!

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Next we place our implements in a sterilization pouch, put the date and our initials on it, and seal it up tight.

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We save up a handful of pouches, then they take a niiiiiice warm bath in Clive, our autoclave! Clive is like a big Insta-pot, it takes 30 minutes to heat up water and pressurize, then 30 minutes at about 250 degrees, followed by a dry session for 30 minutes. They sit out to finish cooling and drying, then go in storage tubs for each of us, waiting to be used. 
This is the STERILIZE step in the sanitation process.

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When we are ready to start a service, we simply grab a pouch of implements and open them in front of our client! See those dark marks at the top right corner of the pouch? Those start out blue, and turn dark once the pouch has been successfully sterilized. That's how you know it's really been processed!
That is it! Our new SANITATION PROCESS. 
Just to reassure everyone, we have not started doing this because we had an issue, it is simply due to an overabundance of caution, and our continued obsession to provide the safest service to our clients. 
We are proud of what we are doing, and hope you all will want to see our new process and meet Clive our autoclave in person.

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