A cleanroom, as its name implies, is a room which has the necessary facilities to keep itself free from contaminating particles. Therefore, not only does a cleanroom prevent the entry of pathogens, dust and other substances that are detrimental to operations, but have the means (to some extent) to get rid of any that manages to make its way in.
That being said, a cleanroom cannot always keep itself clean. A proper maintenance regiment is needed to make sure that it keeps functioning optimally. Therefore, we’ve scoured the internet and found these great tips to help you get started with a proper protocol:
Pay Attention to the ‘Garment Room’
The garment room is the area where personnel will equip themselves with the appropriate clothing and protective equipment before they enter the cleanroom proper. The garment room is essentially the intermediary point between the ‘dirty’ outside and the clean, sterile cleanroom, meaning that there is a big risk of transferring contaminants from the former to the latter.
To prevent this from happening, the following can be done:
- Complete segregation between outside clothes and ones designated for the clean room.
- Having means for personnel to clean dirt from the soles of their shoes, like mats, for instance.
- Having the appropriate number of waste disposals inside the Garment Room.
Encourage Personal Hygiene
One of the most common ways that a cleanroom can be contaminated is through the personnel themselves. Pathogens and other contaminants can stick to both clothing and bodies and can easily be transferred into the cleanroom. Therefore an important part of cleanroom management and maintenance is the implementation of a protocol which calls for proper personal hygiene.
Establish A Proper Gowning Protocol
The protocol should cover everything from the design of the garment (pocket placement, fabric, fit…etc.) to the exact procedure that should be followed when donning the appropriate attire. In addition, this protocol should establish some disciplinary rules that personnel should follow when in the garment/changing room. These can include:
- No food or beverage allowed.
- No smoking allowed.
- Do not enter cleanroom without the proper attire.
- Remove all makeup before entering the cleanroom.
It is best if gowning protocol literature is made readily available to all personnel as well as having them put up in the changing room walls for easy viewing. Furthermore, it is recommended that you conduct periodic reviews of the protocol, making amendments wherever necessary.
Have A Maintenance Kit
Each and every cleanroom must have a dedicated maintenance kit which includes all of the essentials for cleaning the area periodically. The typical cleanroom maintenance kit should include the appropriate:
- Cleaning solutions
Establish A Cleaning Procedure
When it comes to cleanrooms, not any cleaning regiment will get the job done. Hence it is recommended that a proper procedure is established, which is specific to the layout of the cleanroom, the operations that take place in it and the equipment it contains. For instance, a cleanroom used in a manufacturing process should not have the same cleaning procedure as one used for microbial research. The latter will most likely require more focus on sterilization that the former.
Maintaining and cleaning a cleanroom is no easy task but these tips will hopefully lighten the burden significantly.