Autoclaves and the importance of maintenance!

The purchase of an autoclave is an investment. An investment if taken care of properly should and can last you a lifetime.
When choosing an autoclave, you not only need to consider brands. It’s important to consider where it’s made, is it repairable, is there a warranty and mostly…how will support be if needed.
In addition, you must also take into consideration if you wish to have a drying cycle or not.

However, once all the above is considered and decided upon. None of it means anything unless you care for your investment properly. Monthyl, yearly maintenance is imperative to get the most out of your investment.

Heat or no heat?

The decision regarding a heat cycle or not depends on whether you wish to use sterilizing pouches or not.

If your autoclave does not have a heat cycle, your pouches will not dry. You can place your implements after sterilization into a sterilizing pouch. However, how you handle them after sterilization is very important. (see below)

In addition, there is a signal on the pouch which turns color once the tools have been sterilized. If not used in an autoclave, the signal will not turn. Your savvy clients will know, they were not really sterilized properly. Consequently, proper posting of your exact procedure would be recommended, so not to deceive.

Centre for Beauty offers a top load unit and a front load unit. The difference being heat. The top load has no heat, the front load does.

When asked which one I would recommend for my clients….my answer is always;

1) If you work by yourself, a top load with no heat is sufficient. In fact, you can use your autoclave for storage as well.

2) If you work with others, a top load with no heat is generally not recommended unless….1 person is in charge of properly removing and storing the tools after sterilizing. (see below)

3) And, I always tell my clients who are considering the top load….IF there is any chance at all you will either expand to working with more Technicians and/or you “think” you might like to use the pouches in the future….go for the front load with pouches.

As stated in my opening statement, an autoclave should be a 1X lifetime investment. It is best to spend the extra $400-$500 now than have to throw away or try to sell a used unit to purchase a front load. It just doesn’t make sense.

Why made and repaired in the USA?

When I did my research on which Mfg. to work with to provide my clients with autoclave options, I learned quite a bit.

One of the things I learned is everying on an autoclave (at least the ones we offer), can be replaced. Which, is one reason they should last you a lifetime.

However, we can’t always be the mechanic and sometimes the units have to be sent back to the Mfg.

Shipping and working with someone within the USA is a whole lot easier.

Mfg’s and warranties do not come without issue. There have been times during the past few years where support answers weren’t satisfactory or my clients have waited way too long for an answer. I don’t side with the Mfg. on this at all. In fact, I try to stay abreast of any concerns so I can personally follow up.

In fact, I began looking for other options as Covid completely changed the support we were getting. However, the Mfg. we work with is in the USA and out of every 100 machines we have sold, maybe 1 or 2 have had issues. I take my clients concerns seriously, so even though it may have only been 1 or 2, to me it’s seem’s like the 100.

The bottom line is the machines we offer are great units. Medical grade and FDA rated.

How does that work?

When Centre for Beauty sells a unit, we like to be made aware of any concerns. We can’t personally take care of the repair, yet we can direct you to the right place.

Full transparency here….we have lost our direct contact to the Mfg. Consequently if there is a problem with the unit, the Company now request a submission form directly to support@revsci.com

Since these machines are FDA regulated, apparently the Government has stepped in and said a paper trail is now required.

The Mfg. we do Business with offers a 2 year Mfg. warranty against Mfg. defects. The importance of completing the WARRANTY REGISTRATION form can not be emphasized enough.  Revsci warranty

If you already purchased a unit from us and have not completed this form, do it now.

The mfg. pays any shipping cost for pick up and return for most warranty work.

Upon receipt of your new autoclave, always;

  1. Immediately inspect the shipping container for any damage
  2. Remove the unit from the box and place on a dry, level surface
  3. Plug the unit into a 120V power receptacle
  4. IF any of the above show any indication of failure, contact the Mfg. immediately  support@revsci.com 
  5. I always suggest you copy Centre for Beauty as well, on any correspondence

Please…do not wait until you plan to use the autoclave to follow the above steps. Checking for any damage or defects should be done immediately upon receipt.

How to properly transfer tools from an autoclave to storage!

If using your autoclave without pouches, there is a specific way the finished sterilized tools should be transported to a clean storage location.

  1. Gloves should be used to eliminate any transfer of bacteria from skin to tools
  2. A secure, storage container or seal-able bag should be placed next to the unit to transfer the tools. Carrying them across the room allows for airborne bacteria to attach.
  3. If using the chamber as storage, the amount of times the cover should be removed should be kept to a minimum.

Maintenance.

The area where most people falter is maintenance. To protect your investment maintenance is key. It is simple, not very time consuming and not very expensive.

  1. Complete your checklist. In the manual, there is a checklist of parts with come with your unit. It also includes a note and service record section. I recommend filling this out upon receipt of your unit. File it in an easy to retrieve spot. In the event of service/repair needed on your unit, this information will be readily available. Rev sci check list
  2. Daily inspection is also important.
    1. Inspect and clean the door gasket with mild – soapy water. Rinse with distilled water only and wipe. Inspect for cracks or dry spots and re-install.
  3. Clean chamber with mild-soapy water. Check for calcium deposits, stains etc. Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean.
  4. Unplug your unit at the end of each day.
  5. Weekly maintenance should also be followed
    1. Clean tray(s) if using the front load unit with mild – soapy water. Inspect for residue build up. Rinse with warm “distilled” water and wipe clean.
  6. Yearly maintenance
    1. We recommend replacing your door gasket at least 1X per year
    2. Control panel decal and ZPD are also replaceable parts and should be inspected, if not replaced yearly.

Centre for Beauty carries in stock door gaskets and extra trays.

Additional tips;

  1. If not using your autoclave for any length of time be sure to unplug it from the wall and drain all water from the chamber, wiping the inside as needed.
  2. Also, drain all water from the exhaust tank (gently tip the autoclave unit forward and draining into sink.
  3. Plastic parts can be gently wiped with isopropyl alcohol
  4. Calcium build up can be gently removed with CLR

Never;

  • Run your autoclave unattended
  • Block the drain
  • Block steam trap
  • Reuse water in exhaust tank

Always;

  • Use distilled water
  • Test on a regular basis – Pouches will be your test strips. If not using pouches, test strips should be used and unit tested weekly.
  • Read your manual thoroughly upon receipt prior to operating unit. If manual is not included, you can find it @ RevSci

I have found that many people do not read heir manual upon receipt. READ IT!

There is valuable information you should know and understand about your autoclave along with a maintenance chart for your records AND a troubleshoot guide. Autoclave record book

As stated in the beginning, these should be a lifetime investment. If maintained properly, you should never have to purchase another one.

I know the question “should I or shouldn’t I” is a struggle to answer. What I can share from speaking with many many clients in assisting them in making a decision to purchase an autoclave is this;

  • Are you trying to “up your game”?
  • Are you confident in your cleaning and disinfection procedures?
  • Are you concerned about the safety of you, your team and your clients?
  • Will having an autoclave bring you peace of mind?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then yes…an autoclave is for you. Which one depends on everything stated above. In addition, check your space and location. This may help you make a decision. You will find dimensions on both our units on our website cjscentreforbeauty.com

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any further questions cj@centreforbeauty.com

CJ Murray, President

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