Cleaning your Digital X-ray Panel

Dec 1, 2022 11:25:05 AM / by Chad Hutchison

Digital x-ray systems can be expensive and thus, should be appropriately cared for at all times.

There is a right and wrong way to ensure this type of equipment is clean, especially after the pandemic. Regulations are tight, and to make your investment last, you should know the best ways to disinfect x-rays.

In this article, we’ll go over the proper materials, techniques, and procedures a healthcare business of any size must go through in order to ensure a sterile working environment. 


Standard Precautions

Disinfecting x-rays is an important part of an infection-prevention strategy. No matter what type of machine you have purchased, or the sector of healthcare you are in, the standards for keeping your equipment clean are the same across the board. Also referred to as “universal precautions,” these are designed to protect x-ray professionals and medical staff.

Daily cleaning of x-ray equipment helps to prevent exposure to blood, bodily fluids, and other materials that spread disease. Everything you do should be to protect against cross-contamination first, and then to ensure the longevity of the equipment second. 

Steps for Cleaning Your X-Ray Equipment

Here are a few key steps to take to ensure all of your digital x-ray systems are up-to-code when it comes to cleanliness:

Step #1) Protect Yourself First

Whenever handling any form of medical equipment, wear gloves. Although this seems like a given, a lot of professionals opt to go without because they are in the process of cleaning. 

Gloves must stay on during all radiological procedures, including sterilizing and cleaning tasks. Additionally, between cleaning different systems, it also wouldn't hurt to change gloves to avoid cross-contamination of equipment. 

Other protective equipment (PPE) may also need to be worn, like a gown, face shield, or mask.

Step #2) Power Down All Equipment

Every piece of machinery should be off when cleaning. This is to avoid any chances of electric shock or other reactions the equipment might have to chemicals.

Step #3) Disinfect all Clinical Contact Surfaces

Any surface that might be touched by hands, gloves, or other instruments is considered to be a clinical contact surface. This can include (but is not limited to):

  • Control panel
  • DR panel
  • Touch screens
  • Exposure buttons
  • Acquisition computer
  • Positioning tools

All protective equipment and gear must be thoroughly cleaned as well.


Step #4) Start from the Top Down

This is the most efficient way to clean all exterior surfaces and ensure nothing is being cross-contaminated. Wipe all surfaces following the EPA, CDC, and WHO guidelines, with hospital-grade agents.

*It should be noted that if the equipment has bearing tracks that become dry (or movement is difficult) light lubrication can be applied by service personnel.

Step #5) Use Hospital-Grade Disinfectant

This is perhaps the most critical step because if you use the wrong type of cleaner, you might as well not clean at all. Or worse, you could be spreading an infectious disease around more surfaces. 

Additionally, while certain cleaners might be great disinfectants, some may be detrimental to the surfaces of your digital x-ray panels and equipment. 

There are many different articles online that will point you to various cleaners, but the CDC approves of the following:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (70%+)
  • ProCide-D Plus
  • Clorox Bleach Germicidal Wipe
  • Sani-Cloth (PDI) Bleach Germicidal Wipe
  • Sani-Cloth AF3
  • Prospray
  • Sporox II
  • VoloWipes
  • Cavi-Wipes

If you’re ever not sure, you can also check for an acceptable list of cleaners from the manufacturer of your product.

Cleaning Products to Avoid 

Although some products are highly efficient cleaners, they have a dire effect on protective equipment coating. Avoid all direct sprays, brushes, water, or any immersion that may penetrate electronic objects. Also, do not use any of the following agents:

  • Ethanol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Benzyl or Methyl Alcohol
  • Surfactants
  • Methylparaben
  • Ammonia
  • Acetone
  • Iodine
  • Acidic or abrasive cleaning agents
  • Acids with pH 5 or greater

The brands for some of these include Clorox, MicroKill, and CaviCide.

Cleaning Protective Clothing for X-rays

The outer layers of protective garments can be porous and regularly come into contact with objects, surfaces, and patients that may contain pathogens. If your x-ray aprons and protective clothing get dirty, they need to be cleaned as soon as possible. However, using the wrong agent or solvent can permanently damage things.


Spot-Cleaning Tips

Never machine launder, dry clean, or autoclave x-ray garments. They must be spot-cleaned. Consider the following tips:

  • Use a soft bristle brush 
  • Do not use bleach or solvents as it will damage the interior lining
  • Rinse gently with water and hang flat to dry
  • Quaternary ammonium cleaners/disinfectants (QATS) such as DisCide and Sani Cloth can be used

Deep cleaning and the disinfection of radiation protection garments can be done by professional x-ray garment cleaning companies like Radiological Care Services (RCS). A documented and regularly scheduled deep cleaning helps to mitigate the risk of pathogens.

Can X-ray Clothing Harbor Pathogens?

When it comes to any surface or garments that come into contact with other people, there’s always a risk of spreading disease. The outer layer of x-ray aprons are porous and come into contact with patients, surfaces, and other medical objects on a daily basis. The inside fabric also absorbs sweat and can harbor pathogens transferred from one wearer to the next.

Preventing Cross-contamination

To prevent cross-contamination, never fold, crease, drape, or sit down tightly on an x-ray apron. Barriers can also be used to isolate x-ray equipment from direct contact.

An effective barrier for x-ray control consoles is plastic wrap. When covering equipment, don’t forget to include the exposure switch and any other working surfaces, If a barrier gets damaged, replace it immediately. They should also be changed in between each patient. 

If you have any questions about your x-ray equipment, including cleaning or updating your system, give us a call. Click here for a free quote today.


Tags: Chiropractic Digital X-ray, DR Panels, Digital X-ray System, X-ray System, Portable X-ray, mobile x-ray, x-ray equipment

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.