Some sophisticated stethoscopes as the Master Cardiology and Littmann Lightweight II S.E. could be more effective and durable than the others. But, if you want to take advantage of all the best in the stethoscope, you need to take care of it very carefully. It means that you must clean it correctly and ensure that you store it in a good place when you are not availing it. Right now, I will show you steps to clean a stethoscope correctly.
How to do?
At first, you need to prepare some necessary materials, including cotton balls and swabs, 70% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol wipes or solution, mild soap, water, and a rag or paper towels.
- The stethoscope tubing is often made of PVC. Let’s prepare to warn, soapy water, and a paper or rag towel to start cleaning the tubing. Wet the paper or rag tower in soapy water and then wipe down. After wiping down the tubing, you should avail of another paper or rag towel to dry. Do not use rubbing alcohol very often because the tubing can become sticky.
- The common parts that need to be cleaned are the chest piece and diaphragm. Soak the cotton ball in 70% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol or 70% rubbing alcohol prep pads to wipe the whole chest piece. Remember to keep it clearly wet for at least 10 seconds before drying. To the hard area to clean i.e. the stem, you should try to avail the cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
- To the headset of the stethoscope, you need to soak the cotton ball in alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol. Put the headset between the prep pads or cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol and then swipe upwards. If necessary, you can dry it.
- Ear tips might get dirty quickly when using. But it’s not easy to show you tips to clean the ear tips well. The simple way to clean inside the crevices of the ear tips is to avail the cotton swab soaked in running alcohol. In case you want to clean underneath the ear tips, you need to remove and pop them off.
Here is a video demonstration
Tips to make your stethoscope last longer
- Keep in mind that the extreme temperatures might hurt your stethoscope and create problems with the tubing. Do not leave it in extremely cold or hot for extended periods of time or display it to oils or solvents that could damage the chest piece and tubing.
- Besides, avoid the sunlight damaging the diaphragm, tubing, and retaining ring on the stethoscope. The best thing is that you should not store it in a place where it might be shown to the direct sunlight for a long time.
- To make sure that the stethoscope remains comfortable, you need to check periodically to know that the ear tips are tightly secured to the binaural.
- Do not immerse the stethoscope in liquids or subject it to steam sterilization because it can damage parts of the stethoscope and permit debris to reach the tubing.
- In case that sterilization is necessary, low-temperature gas sterilization is the only technique that might be availed not to damage the stethoscope. Please refer to the instructions for use offered by the sterilization equipment manufacturer for details on how to carry out this kind of sterilization.