Clean and disinfect tools
If you cannot get such a container, wrap the tools and equipment in 4 layers of
cloth or heavy paper before sterilizing them. Then keep the sterilized tools
wrapped up until you are ready to use them. (You can only use cloth or heavy
paper to wrap your tools if you are sterilizing by baking.)
Remember that germs grow in moisture, and they will come back if the
instruments are put away while they are wet. But if you are going to use the tools
right away, it is OK to use them when they are wet. Germs need time to grow.
Some equipment needs special care
Gauze, compresses, gloves, and other
equipment sometimes come in sterile
packets. Because the inside of the
packet is sterile too, you can use this
equipment directly out of the packet.
But remember: once you take
something out of its sterile packet
This glove is sterile.
and use it, or if the packet gets wet or
gets holes in it, the equipment is not sterile anymore.
tear in package
This glove is
Things in sterile packets are often meant to be used only once and then thrown
away (disposable). But some of these things can be used again if they are carefully
cleaned and sterilized before each use. Gloves can be boiled or steamed. Gauze and
compresses can be washed and then boiled or baked.
Wash the thermometer in soap and rinse with cool,
clean water before and after you use it. Do not use
hot water because the thermometer may break.
After washing, it is best to soak the thermometer in alcohol for 20 minutes. You
can use ethyl, isopropyl, or medical alcohol (ethanol). Do not reuse the alcohol.
Rinse the thermometer in clean water before you use it again.
Razor blades for cutting cords often come inside of a sterile packet. To keep the
packet sterile, wrap it in clean paper or cloth, or keep it in a clean dry box. If the
packet gets wet or dirty, it is not safe to use the razor blade
unless you sterilize it again.
Try not to reuse razor blades — but if you do, they must be
sterilized first. Razor blades can be sterilized by any method.
A Book for Midwives (2010)