How to Clean Utility and Bandage Scissors

How to Clean Utility and Bandage Scissors

Utility and bandage scissors are essential tools used in healthcare settings for various purposes, such as cutting bandages, dressings, or even clothing in emergency situations. These scissors come into contact with bodily fluids, pathogens, and other contaminants, making proper cleaning and disinfection crucial. Failure to clean bandage or utility scissors can lead to the spread of infections and compromise patient safety.

Please note these cleaning instructions are only applicable to utility and bandage scissors. These are not instructions for surgical scissors. Always refer to your instruction manual for proper cleaning procedures.


Before you begin the cleaning process, gather the necessary supplies:

      • Warm water
      • Mild detergent or soap
      • Disposable gloves
      • Clean, lint-free cloth
      • 70% isopropyl alcohol or disinfectant wipes

How to Clean

By following these simple steps, you can effectively clean and disinfect utility or bandage scissors, ensuring their safe and hygienic use in healthcare settings. Remember, proper cleaning and disinfection practices are essential for maintaining a sterile and safe environment for both healthcare professionals and patients.

Put on disposable gloves. Prior to handling the scissors, protect yourself by wearing disposable gloves. This helps prevent cross-contamination and ensures your safety.
Remove visible debris. Inspect the scissors for any visible debris. Use a clean cloth or tissue to wipe away these contaminants. 
If blood or tissue is present. Use a tuberculocidal agent (or a disinfectant with a specific label claim for HBV and HIV) or a 1:100 dilution of hypochlorite solution (500-600 ppm free chlorine). Please follow and read the product instructions when using a tuberculocidal agent or hypochlorite solution. Make sure it is not corrosive to metals. After this, you can proceed to the next steps.
Clean with warm soapy water. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a mild detergent or soap. Submerge the scissors in the soapy water and gently scrub them using a soft brush or cloth. Pay attention to the area between the blades and the pivot point, as these areas can accumulate dirt and germs.
Rinse with clean water. After scrubbing, rinse the scissors thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
Disinfect the scissors. Once the scissors are clean, it's important to disinfect them to eliminate any remaining pathogens. You can either use 70% isopropyl alcohol or disinfectant wipes. Moisten a clean cloth or wipe with the disinfectant and thoroughly wipe down the entire surface of the scissors, including the blades and handles.
Air dry or use a clean cloth. Allow the scissors to air dry completely or use a clean, lint-free cloth to dry them. Ensure there is no moisture left on the scissors, as it can promote the growth of bacteria or rust.
For medical environments such as clinics and hospitals, please follow cleaning and disinfection procedures provided by your facility.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities. 2019.
World Health Organization. Infection prevention and control of epidemic- and pandemic-prone acute respiratory infections in health care. 2016.

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