Sanitation Methods for Hand-Washed Equipment

Revision Date: 
September 8, 2021


Regulatory Requirements

While the use of mechanical washers is recommended for enclosures, chambers, and other moveable equipment, sanitation of cages and equipment by hand with hot water and deter¬gents or disinfectants can also be effective but requires considerable atten¬tion to detail. Regular evaluation of sanitation effectiveness can be performed by evaluating processed materials using microbiologic culture or organic material detection systems (e.g., adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence) (Guide pp. 71, 73).

Institutional Policy

Proper sanitation of animal use equipment is important to minimize the potential spread of pathogens from animal to animal and minimize animal odors/residues that may influence research outcomes (e.g., behavioral testing). Effectiveness of sanitation methods can be based on testing for the presence of ATP on surfaces (a surrogate for residual microbiological or animal material contamination). Acceptable levels are based on hospital safety standards (<300 RLU per 100 sq. cm.).

Laboratories handwashing animal use equipment should use a method proven to be effective. If research staff request a method of cleaning other than the ones we have validated below, a minimum of 2 passing results will be required.

Cleaning Process

In all cases the equipment should first be wiped/rinsed to remove gross debris.

When using a cleaning detergent, the following steps should be performed:

  • Dampen your sponge, brush, towel, or equivalent with hot water, and apply a few drops of concentrated detergent directly onto the sponge or other cleaning implement.
  • Disperse the soap throughout the sponge to create soapsuds.
  • Scrub the surface until no visible debris remains, generally for 10 seconds or more.
  • Rinse off the soap with clean water.
  • Wipe surface dry or allow to air dry.

When using a chemical disinfectant, the following steps should be performed:

  • Use available disinfectant to completely clean the surface of all remaining debris.
  • Leave surface wet for >1min following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wipe with a clean towel or allow to air dry. If you use 10% bleach, rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Cleaning Agents

Agents Name Chemical ingredients Ref.
Cleaning Detergent Soap(such as dishwashing detergent) Sulfuric acid, mono-C10-16-alkyl esters, sodium salts Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), alpha-sulfo-omega-hydroxy-, C10-16-alkyl ethers, sodium salts Amine oxides, C10-16-alkyldimethyl Ethanol Dish soap SDS
Cleaning Detergent Liquinox® Sodium alkylbenzene sulfonate
Sodium xylenesulphonate
Alcohol ethoxylate
Lauramine oxide
Chemical Disinfectant EtOH >=50% Ethanol or Isopropanol CDC guideline
Chemical Disinfectant Bleach (10% of stock solution) Sodium hypochlorite CDC guideline
Chemical Disinfectant CaviCide™ Isopropanol
Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether (2-Butoxyethanol) Diisobutylphenoxyethoxyethyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride
CaviCide - Spray
CaviCide - Wipe
Chemical Disinfectant MB-10 Sodium Chlorite
Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate
Inorganic salts
Chemical Disinfectant Peroxigard™ Concentrate - Hydrogen Peroxide Peroxigard
Chemical Disinfectant neodisher LaboClean FT™ Chlorine-based bleaching agents
neodisher LaboClean

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