Learn how to effectively clean silicone rubber tubing to keep it performing optimally in this step-by-step guide.
Silicone tubing is a flexible and hollow tube composed of solid silicone elastomer, making it an essential material for the medical, industrial and automotive industries. It is a versatile tool that has both smooth, easy-to-clean properties and refused to become brittle and stiff with the continued use of cleaning chemicals. Because of its flexible nature, silicone tubing can be manufactured in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses to fit the need of the industry. It is used for catheters and surgical drains in hospitals, and employed for fluid transfers in the food and drink industries.
Silicone rubber tubing may be popular in multiple industries due to its flexible, durable and heat-resistant design – however, like all industrial equipment, silicone tubing can become dirty after continuous use and is essential to keep it clean for it to be utilised safely and hygienically. A build-up of bacteria, dirt and other contaminants in silicone tubes poses a very serious health risk, especially in medical and food manufacturing industries, which is why industry leaders should learn these steps on how to clean silicone tubes for continued use.
The first step is to disconnect the silicone tubes from any device that they are connected to avoid water or cleaning solution from getting into the device, leading to damage or malfunction. If the silicone tube is attached to a medical device, is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, use an appropriate cleaning solution like hot water or a few drops of dish soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the tube. Once the tube has been cleaned, rinse it thoroughly and leave it to dry completely before reattaching it to the device to avoid damage to the device.
Soak the silicone tube in a solution that is suitable for the type of contaminants that are present in the tube. Cleaning solutions can include a warm water and soap mixture or a complicated, specialised solution like hydrogen peroxide. Once prepared, the silicone tube needs to be completely submerged in the solution and allowed to soak for 30 minutes, enough time to loosen the residue from the tube. Ensure that the container holding the solution is clean so that it doesn’t interfere with the cleaning process.
Soak the silicone tube in a solution that is suitable for the type of contaminants that are present in the tube. Cleaning solutions can include a warm water and soap mixture or a complicated, specialised solution like hydrogen peroxide. Once prepared, the silicone tube needs to be completely submerged in the solution and allowed to soak for 30 minutes, enough time to loosen the residue from the tube. Ensure that the container holding the solution is clean so that it doesn’t interfere with the cleaning process. After half an hour, remove the silicone rubber tube from the solution and begin scrubbing it with a cloth or brush with soft bristles. Gently scrub the tube to avoid damaging it and pay special attention to the ends where contaminants are more likely to have accumulated. After scrubbing, rinse the tube thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning solution residue. After rinsing, shake the tube gently to remove excess water.
Properly drying the silicone rubber tube prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria and mould. Avoid using rough towels or cloths on the tube and instead place it in a well-ventilated area to let it dry completely before storing or reusing it. Otherwise, this can lead to the growth of microorganisms that can contaminate connected machinery that is used in medical and food manufacturing industries which can cause health problems. If storing the silicone tube, place it in a clean and dry place that can prevent contaminants from settling on its surface, which will expand the life of the tube.
Finally, it is time to reattach the silicone tube to the original device. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions as you reattach the tube to ensure that it is properly connected. Test to see if water or another liquid successfully passes through the tube to ensure there are no leaks or loose connections that could otherwise damage your machine. Once the silicone tube is properly connected, remember to monitor and clean it regularly as you begin using it again, to ensure that the silicone tube does not become contaminated.
Cleaning silicone rubber tubes is an important aspect of ensuring their continued safe use in the medical and food manufacturing industry. Bacteria, dirt and other contaminants can not only cause damage to the machines connected to the tubes but also risks contaminating products in manufacturing or lead to serious infections during medical procedures. Therefore, it’s essential to establish a regular cleaning schedule and adhere to it to ensure maximum health & safety in your sector. With proper care and maintenance, your silicone tubes can reliably service your industry for a long time.
For more information on the most effective ways to clean other silicone products, including mouldings, extrusions, and dairy tubes, contact us today. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at +44 (0) 1252 375 013.