How to Clean and Maintain Your Stethoscope
Keep your stethoscope squeaky clean and minimize patient-to-patient contamination by disinfecting your stethoscope often! Stethoscopes are composed of various materials, so it is important to use the proper cleaning agent and method for each component. It is also important to note that you should never fully immerse your stethoscope in any cleaning solution or liquids.
Why Clean Your Stethoscope?
There has been much heated debate about the importance of cleaning stethoscopes between patient use. According to The American Sentinel, “[Researchers] discovered that the diaphragm of the stethoscope becomes colonized with bacteria quickly – acquiring more pathogens than any part of the doctor’s hand except the fingertips.” Whether or not it is an official policy or law, disinfecting a stethoscope is good practice for safety and hygiene.
How Do I Clean the Tubing of my Stethoscope?
Most stethoscope tubing is made of PVC. To best clean your tubing, warm, soapy water and a rag or paper towel is recommended. Soak your paper towel or rag in soapy water and wipe down. After wiping down your tubing, use another paper towel or rag to dry. If harsher cleaning solutions such as rubbing alcohol is continually used on PVC, it can cause the tubing to become sticky.
How do I Clean my Chestpiece and Diaphragm?
The chestpiece and diaphragm arguably require the most frequent cleaning. To clean your chestpiece, use a 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol soaked cotton ball or 70% rubbing alcohol prep pads and wipe the entire chestpiece. Keep the chestpiece visibly wet for at least ten seconds before drying. To reach the harder to reach areas, such as around the stem, use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
How Do I Clean my Headset?
The headset can be cleaned using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes. Place the headset in between the prep pads or cotton balls soaked in rubbing alcohol and swipe upwards. Dry if necessary.
How Do I Clean my Eartips?
Eartips can get dirty quickly! Sometimes it’s hard to tell when your tips need a quick cleaning- getting clear eartips can help with that! An easy way to clean inside the crevices of your eartip is to use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. To clean underneath the eartips, eartips are removable and can be popped off.
What Will I Need to Clean my Stethoscope?
70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol Wipes or Solution
Rag or paper towels
Mild soap and water