cleaning stethoscope

  1. What do you y'all use to clean your stethoscopes with? I just use alcohol wipes (several of them...) but sometimes the amount of "dirt" that comes off on them is atrocious I've seen some nurses uses our bleach wipes on their scopes but I wonder if that is too harsh? I have a Littmann, btw.
  2. Visit turnforthenurse profile page

    About turnforthenurse, MSN, NP

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 3,384; Likes: 1,923


  3. by   airwayguru
    Since I clean and repair stethoscopes on the side here is how I claen them and what I suggest to to clean them.

    First remove all your parts, if you can (ear pieces, chast piece, name tag, etc.)

    Do a basic wipe down with a little bit of alcohol, bleach wipe (will not harm Littmans), equipment cleaning wipes.

    If you are able to remove the ear and chest pieces you can do a soap and water flush through the inners of the stethoscope and let it air dry for a few days during your days off. Hang the stethoscpe on a hanger and let gravity do it's thing.

    Take apart the chest piece and clean the rim, chest plates, and bell with the alcohol, bleach wipe, or equipment wipes.

    As for the ear peices you can take the wipes and roll them up and push them through the ear pieces. Depending on the ear pieces it is just better to let them saok in soap and water and then wipe them with some type of wipe. In most cases it is better to get replacement ear pieces. They are cheap and you can toss them.

    I hope this helps with cleaning instructions. If you have any other questions just let us know what they are.
  4. by   notjustanurse
    I use the germicidal wipes that our facility provides to clean equipment. Just be sure to let it dry completely before putting it on your neck.