I was asked recently, by more than one person; is it okay to use Dawn dish soap in my ultrasonic cleaner.
I suppose one would think that is okay, since when we wash our tools at the sink, we typically use dawn or some other type of liquid cleanser.
The short answer is NO!
Let’s begin with a couple of definite DO NOT’S;
- Never fill the tank of an ultrasonic cleaner with alcohol, gasoline, or any other flammable liquids. They will vaporize, and could cause a fire or explosion, or release harmful gasses into the workspace. This includes your disinfection products which more than likely include one of the above.
- Avoid putting chlorine bleach into the tank. Bleach does not promote good cavitation activity.
Let’s explain a couple of “need to know’s”;
- An enzymatic cleaner, which is what is recommended to use in an ultrasonic cleaner, is a type of cleaning solution that contains enzymes that help to break down soils at a neutral pH (typically pH 6-8).
- Vinegar/lemon are NOT enzymatic cleaners. Why? Both lemon and vinegar solutions are acidic cleaners.
- If using dish soap in an ultrasonic cleaner, you run the risk of its compatibility with the material you are cleaning. For example, using water and dish soap with some metals can cause rust and corrosion.
I did some additional research and reached out to a couple of my contacts both in the Beauty Industry and the Dental Industry. Their synopsis was exactly the same.
This is where enzymatic cleaners which target specific debris become very important.
- The Lipase found in an enzymatic cleaner is designed to degrade lipids or oils
- The protease found in an enzymatic cleaner is for removing proteins
- The catalase found in an enzymatic cleaner is for cellulose and
- The amylase found in an enzymatic cleaner is for starches or carbohydrates.
The Dental industry as an example adheres to strict protocols of hygiene for their instruments and would never use a dish detergent in an ultrasonic.
The Beauty Industry should adhere to the same policies.
So, I look at it this way.
Are you unfamiliar with the benefits of using an ultrasonic cleaner?
- Saves time. As I’ve said in previous articles, when we clean our implements at the sink…..are you cleaning each one for a full 2-minutes under warm water? THAT’S what it takes. Cleaning is removing the gross debris and is only done properly when we use soap and warm water. Wash for 2 minutes (Happy Birthday/ABC’S). The bubbles created from the washing, then wash the debris down the sink.
- Healthier. That debris we are washing down the sink forms into a BioFilm. Every time we run warm water down the sink, it loosens the biofilm causing sickening fumes to come up from the drain.
As we begin a New Year and we revisit our sanitary practices, I again encourage you to invest in our “Infection Prevention” manual. This manual is detailed information on the most proper way to clean, disinfect and sterilize your tools. It is non-product related and can be used for a lifetime.