Tips

A 4-Step Guide To Cleaning Your StethoscopE

And What NOT To Do

A Stethoscope is one of the first medical instruments you will purchase at the beginning of your journey in healthcare. Stethoscopes have a long shelf life if they are properly cared for. Numerous studies “have shown that stethoscopes may be contaminated by various microorganisms, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa”. Stethoscopes can harbor bacteria, be highly contaminated, and therefore need to be cleaned regularly.

Here are four simple steps to get longevity out of your stethoscope.

The first step is to clean the tubing of your stethoscope. A lot of people clean the stethoscope diaphragm and forget to clean the tubing. You do not need a stethoscope cleaner to clean the tubing of your stethoscope. What you will need is a bowl of warm soapy water. Disassemble your stethoscope and thoroughly clean the tubing with the warm soapy water and a clean towel or cloth. We do not recommend using 70% isopropyl on the tubing as it can make the tubing sticky over time.

The second step is to clean your diaphragm. You can remove the diaphragm pretty easily either by twisting off or pinching and pulling it off. You can easily wipe it down with soap and water, or with alcohol. If you are using alcohol wipes, use the ones made for lenses rather than paper towels in order to minimize scratching. Eartips should be removed if being washed with soap and water, as you want to avoid these from entering the opening of the binaural.

The third step is to clean the eartips. Again, you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol to disinfect the eartips. MDF Instruments offers Free-Parts-For-Life, so you can always order more eartips for free at www.mdfinstruments.com You can take the eartips off and clean them thoroughly. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back on your stethoscope. You can also simply clean the eartips by not removing them.

Which brings us to step four, the last and final step. Properly dry your stethoscope before reassembling it. You can either let it air dry on a sterilized surface or you can use a clean cloth.What not to do: There are several things you should avoid if you don’t want to damage your stethoscope.

1 - Do not use hand sanitizer to clean your diaphragm or tubing as it can be abrasive and have added chemicals that may damage your stethoscope.
2 - Remember that stethoscopes aren’t waterproof. Please do not immerse them in water or any liquid as this will surely damage your stethoscope.
3 - Do not sterilize your stethoscope because most sterilization techniques are harsh and abrasive and will result in the damage of your stethoscope.
4 - It is not recommended to leave your stethoscope out in a hot car or directly in the sun for long periods of time as this can cause the tubing to stiffen and harden.

It’s important to have reliable equipment as a nurse (RN), doctor (MD), veterinarian, or other medical professional. MDF Instruments sells stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, and reflex hammers that all come with a Lifetime Warranty, and Free-Parts-For-Life program. MDF Instruments stethoscopes make great gifts for your colleagues, whether they are nurses, doctors, PA’s, RT’s, or other healthcare professionals.

For any help or questions regarding your MDF Instruments stethoscope, please contact customer service. 

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