Whether you run an electronic manufacturing company, a data center or a research laboratory, cleanliness is of paramount importance. Although a clean room has a controlled level of environmental pollutants, even the lowest percentage of contamination can harm or damage research work. In fact, the success of vivariums, medical research labs and nutraceuticals is depend on the level of hygiene maintained in their clean rooms. Most industries spend millions on creating the most hygienic clean room environment, but later, entrust the maintenance responsibilities to contractors or suppliers. Hiring contractors is fine as long as the clean room supplies they use are up-to-standards.
You know, clean room supplies include a large inventory of equipment usually brought in by the contractors themselves. A clean room service must be chosen only after testing certain fundamentals about their equipment.
Vacuum systems: For cleaning floors, a vacuum system proves convenient. However, such systems can only remove particles that are bigger than 100mm. For particles that are smaller than 10mm, these are only 10% efficient. A dry wiper can also be efficiently used to wipe out particles and microorganisms. But a wet wiper attracts more particles to it, and thus proves more effective.
Disinfectants and detergents: Chemical disinfectants are crucial to overcoming contamination. However, disinfectants have to be selected with care by professionals because not all of them are effective against fungus. Generally, cationic detergents should be preferred over the other forms, as they are more effective in controlling static objects. Additionally, they diminish the surface tension that holds particles to it.
To sanitize surfaces, filtered water or solutions, such as ethanol and iso propanol prove useful. Since alcohols evaporate within a few seconds, adding a microbial inhibitor, such as chlorohexidine, will help. The inhibitor needs to be added in accurate amounts, since it might leave a film on the surface.
Garments: Essential clean room supplies include clean room apparel, such as hoods, hats, masks, boots, gloves, finger cots, goggles and shoe covers. In some industries, reusable garments can be used, while others require the use of disposable clothing.
Wipes and mops: There is no perfect wipe that would suit all situations. Disposable, absorbent wipes shed the most, whereas reusable ones shed the least. There are reusable ones that are absorbent. PVA absorbs the most but also rips and tears when dry. Therefore, a clean room contractor has to be very careful in choosing one that suits the research situation.