While filtration, special surfaces, and operating procedures establish and maintain cleanliness levels in a cleanroom, routine cleaning and maintenance are vital to keeping a facility clean. Inadequate or sloppy housekeeping can result in reduced product yields, compromised products or experiments, or higher operating costs.
Cleaning supplies and tools, including mops, buckets, and cleaning agents, should be matched to the cleanliness class of the cleanroom.
In a survey from the editors ofControlled Environments, representatives of companies that supply cleanroom consumables shared advice on cleaning practices, products, and strategies. They also discussed cleaning challenges and the advantages and disadvantages of using company employees to clean versus using an outside cleaning service.
The procedure for cleaning a controlled environment will differ according to the individual company, the processes occurring in the clean facility, and cleanliness levels required. No matter the specifications, though, there are some universal steps to follow, the experts say. Each facility should have written standard operating procedures and checklists for different cleaning frequencies (by shift, daily, weekly, etc.).
David Nobile, senior technical services engineer from Contec Inc., Spartanburg, S.C., suggests some basic protocols that every facility should follow when establishing a cleaning procedure:
• Environmental monitoring (EM) and identification of contaminants (viable and/or non-viable).
• Select cleaning chemicals and disinfectants based on the results of the EM program.
• Select cleaning materials appropriate for the class cleanroom and the applications/uses.
• Determine that the materials selected perform as expected or required.
• Consult recommended practices for protocols and cleaning frequency from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST).
• Write protocols based on the preceding information.
• Conduct cleaning verification tests.
• Revise protocols if necessary and re-verify.
• Train staff.
• Implement cleaning protocols.
• Self-audit to ensure protocols are followed.
Within a facility, different areas will require different cleaning strategies. Many variables must be considered. Baseline particle counts should establish the cleaning standard.
Eric Swainbank, sales and marketing manager for Terrell, Texas-based Degage Corp., identified three areas that require different levels of cleanliness. In gowning areas, cleanliness levels may be less strict, but the area will require more frequent cleaning. Frequent cleaning is also required in areas where products cannot be contaminated, but can transfer contamination. In production areas, cleaning must be done to the highest level.
“To establish a cleaning process and schedule, the above items need to be considered from the baseline test all the way down to the critically clean areas and the activities that take place in each one,” Swainbank says.
Full article: http://www.cemag.us/article/cleanroom-cleaning-101