How Often?

Poor water and steam quality, boilers additives, types of materials being sterilized, frequency of spills, and how often the sterilizer is used can determine how often a sterilizer chamber must be cleaned.

Chamber discoloration is always due to external substances introduced into
the sterilizer. Stainless steels do not rust like carbon steels do. The chromium
in stainless steels forms a protective passive layer on the surface of the metal

It is best to develop a cleaning frequency that corrects problems during their infancy and not allow severe discoloration or build-up to occur. Operating and maintenance personnel should establish the proper cleaning interval based on the chamber’s appearance and known local utility and process issues.

Spills and other soiling should be cleaned up immediately.

If the facility is sterilizing products that contain chlorides, the frequency of
cleaning must be increased to ensure that chlorides are not allowed to remain
on the chamber surface.

Stainless steels are subject to chloride stress corrosion (CSC)
CSC can rapidly cause severe damage to a chamber and must be avoided.

Cleaning Agents and Equipment

  • Any branded non-abrasive cleaning detergent that does not contain chlorides is suitable for cleaning the chamber
  • One acid-rated sprayer for the cleaning agent and a second one for the rinse water
  • Mop (avoid sponge types)
  • Soft bristle brushes with extension handles
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Eye protection (face shield or safety glasses)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Waterproof apron
  • Other personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the respective facility’s safety requirements


Never use abrasive cleaning compounds, wire brushes, steel wool, or
other scouring pads to avoid permanent damage of the chamber surface.

  • Turn off the sterilizer’s power, water, and steam.
  • Allow the sterilizer to cool down to ambient temperature.
  • Remove the shelves and loading equipment.
  • Wear all facility-required personnel protective equipment (PPE).
  • Using the acid-rated sprayer, liberally apply the cleaning solution to the inside surfaces of the sterilizer chamber, including the inside surface of the door(s).
  • Use a dampened lint-free cloth, or soft bristle brush attached to an extension handle to clean the chamber surface.
  • Fill the second sprayer with warm tap water. Repeatedly rinse the sterilizer chamber surfaces and the inside of the sterilizer door(s) to eliminate all detergent residues.
  • Make sure all foreign materials (lint, cleaning bristles, etc.) are removed from the chamber.
  • Clean out the pin trap.

Have a question or having difficulties? Talk to Dave Schall, our PRIMUS sterilizer expert who is here to assist you anytime at 877.679.7800 extension 1212 or email at

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