How to Clean Your Ultrasound Machine


What is the best way to clean ultrasound probes? When most people hear “ultrasound,” they think of pregnancy scans, but these versatile machines abound from specialization areas like obstetrics to vascular access imaging and radiology. Medical professionals use point-of-care ultrasounds all the time, but each machine could have separate care requirements for its given context.

Below, Choice Medical Systems, Inc. discusses the industry best practices for cleaning an ultrasound machine. For over 30 years, they have provided and maintained this type of vital medical equipment to those who need it.

How to Clean Ultrasound Machines 

Knowing how to clean ultrasound machines starts with understanding your particular make and model.

Noncritical Appliances

Noncritical ultrasounds use external transducers. These slide over a patient’s intact skin, such as in obstetrics, vascular, or cardiac departments. They do not require special precautions during cleaning, so low-level disinfection will suffice. 

  • After disconnecting the transducer from the scanner, rinse off residual gel.
  • Use a gentle cloth and non-abrasive liquid soap in a blotting motion around the lens. 
  • Rinse the probe again.
  • Pat it dry with a soft towel.
  • Clean the needle if necessary. 

Then, wipe down the probe surface with an LLD and ensure it’s dry before storing it.

Semicritical Equipment

If you have semicritical equipment, these usually appear in emergency vehicles, ERs, and over non-intact skin. It requires a probe cover before high-level disinfection. 

  • If you don’t plan to immediately send it back to the reprocessing room, do an initial cleaning by washing it to keep the gel from drying on the probe.
  • Otherwise, clean it with soap and water before using high-level disinfectant for any leftover gel.

Critical Machines 

Critical ultrasounds require a sterile probe cover that reaches over the connector before an FDA-approved chemical sterilization. While some intraoperative machines only need a steam cleaning, most machines are heat sensitive. They need a long soak in liquid sterilants, drying,  and then storing in a sterile package.

Disinfectants and Cleaning Solutions for Ultrasound Systems and Transducers 

What is the best way to clean ultrasound probes? The trick is to incorporate the right cleaning solutions and disinfectants for ultrasound systems and transducers.

  • LLDs sometimes include soap and water. However, better cleaning includes pairing this with a bleach-based or hydrogen peroxide wipe or quaternary ammonium. 
  • HLDs for internal probes include germicidal soaks and ortho-phthaladehyde, peracetic acid with hydrogen peroxide, or any other FDA-approved high-level disinfectants.

Can You Use Alcohol to Clean Ultrasound Probes?

You shouldn’t use acidic cleaning solutions with a pH of 5 or lower to clean the ultrasound probe. It could damage the probe lens and discolor the machine. These include alcohol, methanol, iodine, ammonia, acetone, and any products comprising surfactants, to name a few.

The Doctors’ Choice for Medical Equipment!

Prolonging your equipment’s lifespan is cost-effective, and cleaning is a huge part of it. At Choice Medical Systems, Inc., we sell new and refurbished medical equipment from leading brands like Samsung, Toshiba, and Sony. 

What is the best way to clean ultrasound probes? Find out more from Choice Medical Systems, Inc. in South Pasadena, FL—call (727) 592-5668 today!