Everything you need to know about instrument care

Taking proper care of your podiatry instruments can vastly improve their life span. We have some great tips for keeping your instruments in tip top shape for longer. After all keeping them in full operational order will save money in the long run and inspire confidence in the people you are treating.


We recommend cleaning podiatry Instruments in Ultrasonic cleaners. Tap water should be used with a reliable detergent such as Ultrawave Ultraclean M2 Detergent as it contains a high concentration of minerals which can cause stains.

One should always clean instruments in the open position and fully submerge in the cleaning solution remembering to rinse the instruments after cleaning and drying thoroughly with a clean towel.

We have a range of Ultrasonic cleaners available to buy designed to enhance your instruments life.

Autoclaving and Sterilisation

Steam sterilisation in an autoclave is the only recommended method for use in podiatry.  You should always lubricate your instrument joints prior to autoclaving. Avoid mixing different metals, you may autoclave instruments individually or in sets. Use distilled water as tap water will cause staining and do not use detergent as this is not necessary in an autoclave.

Non-stainless-steel instruments are not suitable for autoclaving. We have a range eclipse autoclaves and enigma autoclaves, some with a free Water Distiller and Ultrasonic cleaner that are perfect for autoclaving instruments and great range of Autoclave pouches and accessories to use.

Staining or Rusting

Stainless steel instruments, if handled with care, rarely rust. Dark areas on the surface are most often mistaken for rust. In fact, these marks are surface deposits. After autoclaving, you may notice a stain on your instruments. Stains appear in many colours and, in most cases the colours tell you about the origin of the stain. For a full list of stains and what they mean we have a full breakdown of them on our instrument care page.

Be careful with the cleansers

The cleansers and cleaning agents used could also be a cause of staining, pitting, marking and even corrosion. Strong substances, as well as those containing a chemical make-up of acid or alkaline-based solutions can lead to pitting and staining. Dish soap or surgeons hand scrub should not be used; these products cause spotting and corrosion. Using an instrument cleaning brush is a good idea, especially for jaw serrations, teeth and hinged areas.

What is pitting?

Pitting can occur when an instrument is autoclaved using a solution containing chloride or an acid-based detergent. Hydrochloric acid, formed in the solution, removes the protective chromium oxide layer of the stainless steel. The acid can then attack the unprotected steel and caused pitting.

Avoid the problem of pitting by using on pH neutral (7.0) detergents and making sure all instruments are thoroughly rinsed before placing in the autoclave. Avoid instruments touching during the autoclave process to eliminate pitting.

Explore our autoclaves and ultrasonic cleansers, if you have any further questions feel free to contact us at sales@justcarepodiatry.co.uk

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