Guideline #24

Cleaning/Sanitizing Animal Equipment Located in Investigator Laboratories

1. Reference: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition. 2011: pp. 70-73

2. Purpose: To provide guidance to investigators for the cleaning/sanitizing of research animal equipment (e.g., treadmills, rotarods, operant chambers, mazes, restraint devices, anesthesia induction chambers, guillotines, etc.) that are located in investigator’s laboratories and routinely cleaned/sanitized by laboratory personnel.

3. Policy:

3.1. It is preferable to clean/sanitize lab animal equipment by running it through a mechanical cage washer if the equipment is designed to be washed in a mechanical cage washer.

3.2. Equipment that cannot be cleaned/sanitized in a mechanical cage washer may be cleaned/sanitized by hand with hot water, detergents, and/or chemical disinfectants, preferably by immersion using a 2-3 compartment sink. Care must be taken to thoroughly rinse all items with clean water to remove all detergents and/or chemical disinfectants.

3.3. Animal equipment items that must be cleaned in place may be cleaned/sanitized by hand by:

3.3.1. Vacuuming and/or wiping down all animal contact surfaces with a wet cloth/sponge to remove gross soil, hair, dander, etc. (If a vacuum is used it should be HEPA filter to minimize exposure to allergens); and

3.3.2. Spraying/misting all animal contact surfaces with an approved disinfectant cleaner (e.g., Peroxigard™) and wiping/drying with paper towels -OR- wiping all animal contact surfaces with ready-to-use (RTU) disposable cleaner/disinfectant wipes (e.g., Peroxigard™ RTU Wipes).

3.4. Animal equipment should be cleaned after each day of use as a minimum or after each use if the equipment becomes grossly soiled/contaminated. A log should be maintained for each item of equipment that shows the day(s) it was used and when it was cleaned.

3.5. It is recommended that quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) testing (e.g., ATP swabs) be used to validate the effectiveness of each cleaning/sanitation regimen, that the QA/QC testing is documented, and that it is re-validated if there is a change in the cleaning/sanitation regimen.