Biotech laboratory cleaning is much different than the nature of cleaning in other places and facilities, even hospitals and other healthcare settings. Some may even say cleaning has more serious implications in biotech laboratories, and we wouldn’t disagree. The reason for this is simple: biotech labs are a place where chemicals and rare biological substances are stored, used, mixed, tested, and disposed of, and in many cases, these chemicals and biological substances are and can be very dangerous or fatal.
That’s why cleaning biotech labs is important, but if you work in one or are otherwise responsible for cleaning and maintaining a biotech lab, don’t let that discourage you. Having knowledge of the right supplies, methods, and precautions, as well as a seriously high level of focus and awareness, will help ensure you do your job by keeping the lab clean while also not putting anyone’s health at risk – especially your own. Here are the biotech laboratory cleaning tips you should know:
Before “Lab” – Disinfecting
Disinfecting is as important to keeping your biotech lab clean as it is to keeping anywhere else clean. Every day, before your biotech lab staff begin their work, experts recommend disinfecting all work benches and stations, wiping them clean, and then washing your hands with soap and water. This will ensure that work begins in a freshly disinfected environment, which serves to mitigate risk of contamination of the work.
During & After “Lab”
There are on-the-go cleaning measures that may need to take place during the work that occurs in biotech labs. These include cleaning all spills immediately, clearing any broken glass from the work area and placing it in a designated disposal box, and removing and/or placing any contaminated labwear or lab equipment in the designated biohazard disposal bags/boxes. Also, it’s a good idea not to mark up your glass lab equipment as this makes it difficult to clean and disinfect later.
Afterwards, clean everything. All glassware should be hand washed, most of which can be effectively done so with light scrubbing in a mixture of warm water and antibacterial soap. Permanent ink can be removed with acetone. Make sure to dispose of any and all chemicals appropriately! After all equipment is cleaned and chemicals disposed of, disinfect the benches and stations, and wash your hands with soap and water.
Lab equipment should be cleaned daily with a wipedown of all exterior surfaces, and weekly with a more in-depth cleaning. All surrounding surfaces should be dusted and cleaned daily as well, followed by sweeping or vacuuming the floors, as the buildup of debris will contaminate and potentially obstruct lab equipment and work.
The Importance of Organization
Organization is to the cleaning and maintenance of biotech labs as a focused mind is to effective test taking. Smart benches and stations, strategic operational policies, and a tailored cleaning policy, schedule, and checklist are necessary parts of an organized, clean biotech laboratory.