How to care for your centrifuge
It’s the same for everything that’s important to you – if you treat it properly and handle it with care, you will be able to enjoy it for a long time.
Your centrifuge was surely not cheap. No wonder, considering the amount of technical innovation, human effort and precious materials involved in creating this valuable device. You probably intend to use it for a scientific or medical research or an innovation that makes our daily lives easier in some way. And you would like to work towards these goals without any problems along the way. This is why you should care for it – on a daily, weekly and annual basis. We are going to show you how to do that correctly and effectively.
First, pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the user manual, contact the manufacturer. Otherwise you risk damaging the centrifuge, accessories or rotors. Please also check the centrifuge regularly for damage caused by corrosion.
! Switch off the device and disconnect it from the power supply before starting any cleaning or disinfection.
- The outside of the centrifuge and the rotor chamber should be cleaned regularly with neutral detergents. This is for hygienic purposes as well as to prevent contamination caused by residual contamination.
- Only neutral agents may be used for cleaning and disinfection (e.g. diluted neutral alcohol-based disinfectant or 70% isopropanol mixture).
- Residue from detergents should be removed. Also remove condensation and clean the condensation tray. Leave the centrifuge lid open.
- The rotor chamber and the rotor shaft should simply be wiped with a moist cloth. Please clean your rotor using a neutral cleaning liquid. This will protect the rotor and prolong its service life.
! Do not use acetone, caustic detergents, or detergents that contain chlorite ions. Corrosion is most frequently caused by using chlorite ion solutions, such as sodium hypochlorite (household bleach). Do not use steel wool, wire brushes, abrasives, or sandpaper, since they may damage the rotor coating (anodized coating) and thus increase the risk of corrosion. We do not recommend putting rotors or lids into the dishwasher, since the aggressive cleaning agents used in dishwashers may result in corrosion.
When using a swing-bucket rotor, ensure that the bucket grooves are free of contamination. The buckets can be lubricated with a lubricant (grease for pivots). Ensure that the buckets can swing out completely, especially when using new tube formats.
! If aggressive liquid is spilled on your centrifuge equipment, clean it immediately with a neutral cleaning liquid (alcohol or alcohol-based disinfectant). This will protect the rotor and prolong its service life.
! Since salt crystals located on the metal surface will corrode the surface, we strongly recommend cleaning the equipment immediately after every use.
If there is a stubborn stain, clean with a plastic scrub pad. If you need to clean the rotor’s tube cavities or boreholes, use a stiff test-tube brush that has end bristles and a non-metallic tip. Rinse equipment with distilled water and dry thoroughly with a soft cleaning cloth.
Do not submerge the rotor in water completely, since water can remain in the rotor cavities, leading to imbalances during following runs.
Suitable and unsuitable cleaning devices:
- Plastic scrub pad
(in case of stubborn contamination)
- Stiff brush with end bristles and a non-metallic tip
(if you need to clean the rotor’s bore holes)
Contamination of the rotor through biological material (such as blood) or radioactive material may occur even when you work accurately and carefully. If this happens, please consult your laboratory safety officer first about suitable methods of cleaning and disinfecting hazardous spills within the centrifuge/rotor. Successful disinfection can only be granted by the suppliers of the chemicals.
- Steel wool
(might create corrosion)
Before using any cleaning or disinfection method other than what is recommended by the centrifuge manufacturer, please check that the intended method will not damage the rotors, accessories, or other parts of the centrifuge.
Please be aware that the detergents and disinfections are only recommended due to their compatibility with material of the centrifuges. The recommended methods for decontamination are disinfection with alcohol-containing liquids and autoclaving.
! Do not use UV, beta, gamma, or any other high-energy radiation source for disinfection. Do not use gas for disinfection.In general, disinfection with a cloth is more efficient than spraying liquids on the centrifuge, which may also result in a short-circuit within the centrifuge housing. After cleaning with detergent, the rubber seals in the rotor chamber should be rinsed well with distilled water and lubricated with glycerine to prevent them from becoming brittle.
- Plastic scrub pad