Unicell Washing and Cleaning Guide

A. Introduction
B. Manual Washing
C. Wand Washing
D. Automated Cart Washing
E. Additional Guidelines

A. Introduction

The Unicell system of movable, modular storage equipment is designed to efficiently process, distribute and store hospital materials and supplies. Through day to day use, this equipment is exposed to dust and dirt particles and may become soiled.

By following the guidelines set forth in this report, it is possible for hospitals to clean and sanitize equipment using reasonable operational procedures. The Unicell system by its very design is easy to maintain. The components are constructed of durable, structural plastics which can be easily washed, dried and sanitized. Unicell storage products can be quickly disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and put back to work. The one-piece solid construction and rounded corners of the Unicell components are also conducive to easy cleaning.

This report discusses three methods of washing Unicell components. These methods are: manual washing, high pressure hot water wands and automated cart washing. In each method, varying degrees of cleaning, drying and potential sanitation are achieved. The ultimate goal of this report is to provide users the ability to maintain the cleanliness of their Unicell equipment. As with any healthcare item, the cleanliness of material distribution products is essential to the improved safety, infection control, morale and image of the healthcare facility.

B. Manual Washing

Of the three washing options, manual washing requires the least initial capital investment and can be effectively done at a central wash station or at the storage unit’s point of use. Unicell stresses the importance of regularly scheduled cleaning of both internal and external components.

Prior to wipe down Unicell recommends that interior components be removed to ensure thorough and proper cleaning action. Non-abrasive readily available cleaners/disinfectants effectively remove soil from the Unicell components.

It is important to thoroughly wipe down the Unicell equipment with clean water should any cleaning solution residue be visible. Certain cleaning agents, however, quickly evaporate and frequently do not require a separate drying step. Should manual drying be required, a soft clean cloth is recommended. The Unicell components can be reassembled when they are dry.

Varying sanitation results are achieved using the manual wash methods. Most cleaners/disinfectants require that the solution remain in contact with the surface for two to ten minutes to achieve sanitation. Generally, the contact period is too brief to achieve sanitation during a quick manual wipe down.

For excessively soiled areas/surfaces on the interior of the cell units Unicell recommends a more concentrated cleaner for occasional use only, not too abrasive in nature. Commercially available nylon or treated terry cloth pads are suggested to use along with a non-abrasive cleaner to remove the most severe soil from the interior of the cell.

CAUTION: Unicell cautions against the regular use of any aggressively abrasive cleaners/materials on the surface of the Unicell components, since long-term use may cause premature wearing.

Unicell does not recommend any use of ABRASIVE CLEANERS OR SCOURING PADS/CLOTHS on the exterior polyurethane-coated surfaces of the cells or drawer fronts because they may mar or dull the textured finish.

CAUTION: When using cleaners/disinfectants, please read the packaging label and follow the application directions carefully. Excessive concentrations or extended contact with certain cleaners/disinfectants could cause staining of the Unicell surfaces.

C. Wand Washing Hot Water Gun

Many central wash stations have the availability of high pressure, hot water wands (frequently referred to as steam guns used only on the hot water mode). The Units provide pressurized water flow, control of temperatures, and the capability to mix cleaning additives.

Utilization of hot water (not to exceed 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 82 degrees Celsius) achieves faster cleaning and drying than usual tepid water (80 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 degrees Celsius). Hot water cleaning affords air drying of the cells in approximately 10 minutes, requiring only minimal wipe down at ambient temperatures. The use of a detergent additive improves the cleaning process when used with either hot or tepid water.

CAUTION: Unicell cautions against the use of water exceeding the recommended hot water temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 82 degrees Celsius. Temperatures exceeding this range may cause permanent damage to components.

Time requirements for washing, rinsing and drying components depend upon the size of the component and the amount of soil. Use of rinsing (wetting) agent combined with tilting the components slightly facilitates the drying of the cells. If available, hot air blowers or compressed air (with in-line air filter) 100 to 120 PSI help promote more rapid drying. Individual time standards can be established by the facility to accommodate its particular situation.

Sanitation is not achieved using tepid water, although hot water can achieve sanitation with or without detergent additives. Variable sanitation results are due to inconsistent washing patterns and inconsistent surface contact with detergents and hot water.

Refer to the “Manual Washing” section of this document for recommendations to clean heavily soiled areas/surfaces using a more aggressive cleaning agent.

D. Automated Cart Washing

The most systemized and sophisticated washing option is the use of an automated cart washer. Unicellis able to recommend to its customers cart washing units specifically designed to wash, dry and sanitize Unicell components.

Capital investment in an automated cart washer is greater than other washing methods, but labor savings and cleaning consistency are also inherent in such a system. An automated cart washing system is especially appropriate when there is a large quantity of Unicell carts to be regularly cleaned.

CAUTION: Unicell cautions against the use of water exceeding the recommended hot water temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 82 degrees Celsius. Temperatures exceeding this range may cause permanent damage to Unicell components.

E. Additional Guidelines

Unicell storage modules used as case carts can be sanitized using the appropriate cleaning methods, as noted in this report. Furthermore, Unicell recommends that contaminated items be bagged prior to insertion into the case carts. This practice limits cross-contamination while also minimizing the soiling of the cells. Case carts should be regularly cleaned after each use to promote effective infection control practices.

*VHP (vaporized hydrogen peroxide) is approved for Unicell products. Contact us for further details.

Sub-containers and interior accessories should be washed with mild detergent and warm water. Following washing, they should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried. Do not process sub-containers and small accessories through a washer.

Should all guidelines by followed within this cleaning report, your Unicell storage system will last and last. For additional information please feel free to contact us directly (refer to the contact us section of our website).

Click on link below to view and download PDF.

Washing and Cleaning Guide (PDF)

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