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.

To clean the chestpiece, use a 70$ isopropyl wipe or rubbing alcohol solution. The chestpiece has a high risk of patient to patient infection.

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.

To clean the headset, use 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol wipes or cotton balls.

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.

Eartips can get dirty quickly. Clear eartips help you know when its time to clean. You can use a qtip to clean the inside of an eartip

What Will I Need to Clean my Stethoscope?

Materials needed:

70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol Wipes or Solution

Cotton balls

Cotton swabs

Rag or paper towels

Mild soap and water

Posted by Lynn Pham

16 Comments

  1. Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

    Reply

  2. i like to download the video.. pls add downloading video in here

    Reply

  3. This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    Reply

  4. Hello, I am a medical student, after I used my stethoscope, I cleaned this with a glasses cloth which is contain 5% alcohol. After cleaning the Y tube became sticky :/ Is it normal? What can cause this?

    Reply

    1. Hi Szegedi Ádám,

      Stethoscope tubing is best cleansed with warm water and mild soap. Depending on the type of material used for the tubing, rubbing alcohol can break down the outside of the tubing, causing it to get sticky. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns!

      Thank you,

      Lynn
      MDF Instruments

      Reply

  5. its really nice….. yeah!!!

    Reply

  6. I cleansed my new rose gold chest piece/diaphragm with Alcohol Prep pad 70% isoprophy alcohol and it stained the top of the diaphragm. It has like smear marks. I’ve tried getting it off and ever since the first time cleansed it with the alcohol prep pad it has this appearance. Any reason this could be and how I can get it clear and shiny again like the rest of the rose gold on my stethoscope?

    Reply

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Oh no! That’s not good, please give us a call at 818.357.5647 and we’ll take care of that right away!

      Lynn

      Reply

  7. I have the MDF MD one rose gold stethoscope. Can i still use 70% rubbing alcohol to clean the headset and chestpiece? I don’t want to ruin the rose gold detail

    Reply

    1. Hi Keren!

      70% is great for the chestpiece and headset of our Rose Gold MD One stethoscope! Thanks for asking!

      Lynn

      Reply

  8. Hi. I just got the white and rose gold MDF stethoscope and the white tubing is stained yellow with olive oil that got on my neck from my hair. Please how do I clean it 😔

    Reply

    1. Hi V,

      So sorry for the delay! We’d love to help take care of that for you! Please just call 818.357.5647 and we will check on your lifetime warranty!

      Thanks!

      Lynn

      Reply

  9. Meghan McIntosh January 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I have a Stethoscope with White Tubing…It has a tiny blue spot and im not sure where it came from or what it is. How do I get this spot off my stethoscope?

    Reply

    1. Hi Meghan,

      Like anything light in color, white tubing can pick up stains or be noticeably marked if ink or excess dye on scrubs come into contact. If you have a moment, feel free to call our customer experience specialists and they can take care of you! You can reach us at 818.357.5647!

      Lynn

      Reply

  10. Hello I am curious what is the best way to clean the rose gold stethoscope. On some reviews the talked about it leaving a cloudy film on the rose gold.
    Therefore I just need to know do I use alcohol wipes or another solution?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Hi Corinna,

      The best solution to clean our rose gold MD One stethoscope is to use 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol! Please feel free to reach us at 818.357.5647 if you have any other questions!

      Lynn

      Reply

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