The two most common tests for cleaning concentration efficacy that are commercially available are the TOSI Test and the film test. Enzyme surgical instrument cleaners function more effectively at temperatures above room temperature. The optimal range begins as > 22 C, 72 F with performance reaching it's peak at 58.3 C, 137 F. This is often referred to as the optimal temperature for the performance or activity of enzymatic action. The activity of surgical instrument cleaning enzymes does not stop at higher temperatures but the level of performance does begin to decrease. Enzyme cleaning concentrates which include enzymes, should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and the recommendations of the medical devices being cleaned.
The primary purpose of a surgical instrument cleaner is to remove all inorganic and organic bioburden material from the internal and external surfaces of medical devices. The secondary purpose of a surgical instrument cleaner is to maintain and improve the passive layer of stainless steel.
The passive layer is provided by the manufacturer of surgical stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Using the proper surgical instrument cleaners and methods for sterilizing surgical instruments will maintain and strengthen the passive layer of protection against corrosion, pitting, and staining.