Toy Cleaning 101

Cleaning your toys and instruments after each use is essential for safety.

Follow this step by step procedure for safety and to ensure your toys are sanitized or sterilized.
  • Urinary catheters and other latex or rubber devices are meant for one time use. Dispose of them safely after use. Do NOT attempt to clean or reuse them.
     
  • Have a plastic five gallon bucket available to deposit all used instruments. This helps prevent anyone from accidentally reusing them and keeps them from contaminating other things. The handle will allow you to carry the instruments to your cleaning area without contaminating yourself.
     
  • Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves to protect yourself before beginning. Be careful of sharp objects.
     
  • Rinse and scrub each item with a plastic brush in cold water to remove all visible residue,  fecal matter, blood and other debris. Cold water prevents coagulation of proteins and reduces sticking. Do not use steel brushes or steel wool, they will scratch the surface of the instruments.
     
  • Wash each item in hot soapy water using a plastic brush and a cloth to scrub all surfaces to remove lubricants. If the instrument has moving parts, be sure to open/close it to remove debris hiding in the crevices.  This step is important. Sanitation and sterilization may not be able to get through oily surface contamination. Bleach and heat can cause germs to be encapsulated in a way that protects them from sanitation and sterilization. Wash temperature sensitive items in cold soapy water.
     
  • Rinse each item in cold water to remove soap.
     
  • Soak each item in Barbicide or a bleach solution for 5 minutes. The bleach solution is one part liquid bleach to 10 parts water. Use a plastic container for a bleach solution as it will corrode metal! NOTE: Stainless steel is not stain-proof, it is only stain resistant. Excess exposure to bleach and other strong oxidizing agents will cause it to corrode and pit and may make it unusable, especially if it is for urethral insertion.
     
  • Dry each item and inspect for cracks and other damage. Discard items that should no longer be used.
     
  • Your instrument is now clean and sanitized NOT sterilized. It is ready for storage but might not be ready for it's next use. Instruments requiring sterilization before use, such as urethra sounds / dilators must be sterilized.
     
  • Sterilizing: Boiling will not sterilize instruments, some bacteria & viruses are resistant to temperatures greater than 212ºF. To ensure sterilization you must use high temperature steam to reach the 250 degrees Fahrenheit needed to kill all germs.  An oven should not be used as hot air is very poor at achieving sterility and can take several hours longer than steam. Even when using a convection oven, air pockets can insulate the instrument from the heat. An autoclave is the best way but if one is not available, you can use a common stove-top pressure cooker. Place the instruments on a rack above the water level in the pressure cooker. Boil for 30 minutes after the weight on the top of the cooker starts to bounce. Warning, pressure cookers have been known to explode. Be sure there is enough water present to cook for at least 30 minutes. Some Pressure Cookers come with a pressure control weight that allows 5, 10, or 15 pounds of pressure. Be sure to use the 15 pound setting.
     
  • Let the instruments cool down then use a pair of sterile forceps to lift them out of the autoclave or pressure cooker. They will remain sterilized while cooling until the device is opened. Place the instruments in a sterile container or sterile plastic bag for storage. Sterilized instruments are no longer considered sterile after 30 days even if they have not been opened.
     
~Master Phil, Senior Master, XVIII house