We have 2 types of cleaning here; one is for re-usable and the other is for disposable items. The process is the same except for packaging the items for the autoclave. After 30 minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner, cleaning needle bars and tubes is a snap. Simply brush off any debris with a denture brush and green soap or soap powder. Hold the needles in your left hand against your index finger for support (points away from you) and brush away from you, never towards yourself. Roll the bar over and clean the other side. Rinse the bar under running water and examine it with an eye loupe for damage (barbs, excessive wear, etc.).

If it can be re-used place it on a towel and clean its respective tube. There are several devices that make this easier. One is a pipe cleaner, others are nylon brushes and special denture brushes all available from good tattoo supply houses.

Cleaning, first use the brush, then bore swabs. The pipe cleaners are pulled through it like a bore brush then rinse. The nylon brushes enter through the back (open) end of tube – the special denture (with variable tips) do a great job from entering in from the needle end – then always rinse. See Figure 8.
Place it with its needle bar. Do the same for all remaining bars and tubes. If a needle bar cannot be re-used after the cleaning, drop it points first into a glass test tube. Using machine rack test tubes, push a cotton ball (not rayon) to the bottom of the tube and place the re-usable bar in its respective tube gently, points first, onto this cotton ball. Plug the open end with another cotton ball and place it in a plastic autoclave bag with a tag to identify it e.g. 3 needle liner, etc. Heat seal all of these bags and put a small piece of autoclave tape on the bag with the date on it. Plug the tube with the bad needles in it and seal it for autoclaving.

Filed under: Sterile Techniques


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