Keeping the Cleanroom Clean

Keeping the Cleanroom Clean

Cleanrooms are important in laboratories and industrial settings where there is a need to keep products or processes from becoming contaminated. Most have to meet detailed requirements about how many parts per million of contamination are acceptable. Special equipment is used in a cleanroom, and often those who work in cleanrooms have to wear protective clothing. They even use specially designed cleanroom notebooks to record notes and activities. Keeping a cleanroom clean requires extra care and preparation.

Contamination can come from many sources. The sloughing off of human skin, dirt that sticks to equipment or tools brought in, and dust carried on shoes or clothing all leave microbial deposits behind which can affect the cleanroom’s cleanliness.

Tacky rollers can be used on flat surfaces to trap these microbes, without sending them flying into the air. Once captured, the tacky roller can be cleaned outside the cleanroom. Other surfaces may need cleaning with wet wipes. Dry cloths can bring in their own microscopic fibers. They can also push dust around, rather than capturing it as a wet wipe would do. Wet wipes should be made of fine fibrous material so as to minimize shedding.

Dry vacuum the floor to remove dust and particles. Next, mop the floor with a sponge-type mop. String mops will leave behind too many fiber particles. Finally, use a wet vacuum to remove any traces of moisture and contamination. A floor scrubbing machine may be used, from time to time, if needed. Record cleaning activities in a cleanroom notebook as a means of controlling what is brought into the room and used there.