What happens when dentists use bleach to clean suction systems?

Presidental | Saturday, 01 April 2017

In the recent past we have come across numerous dental practices using bleach to clean their dental suction systems.. Is this ok?
Unfortunately the answer is a very loud NO.. this will cause spectacular damage to your suction units over a relatively short period of 
time. We have always been aware that you should never use bleach due to the fact that we have seen what it can do to the plastics inside 
the unit but we thought for the benefit of all we would invite the opinion of some of the major manufacturers.
Manufacturer 'A' stated that "Bleach will create foam inside the units which will severely affect the air / water seperator meaning a
significant part of the incoming waste water cannot be seperated from the air. It will also make the plastics brittle causing major 
malfunction, certain type of spittoon valve can also be rendered useless as bleach will destroy the sensors rendering them incapable of 
detecting water". (flooded surgery anyone?)
Manufacturer 'B' stated (and I quote) "We love it when people use bleach as they will very soon need to buy new units"  they went on to
expand "Bleach will foam up inside the unit and it will then be compressed.. it then gets forced up inside the unit into the air part of the 
system where there should be NO water at all. This carries debris up with it into the unit.. although the pump is powerful enough to 
'ignore' it the foam will dry out leaving debris inside the fan housing. When the pump is next used the debris causes friction which heats 
up the unit to point where it will eventually seize".
Bear in mind though bleach is not just the culprit here.. ANY type of cleaning agent that creates foam should not EVER be used.. make
sure you double check that your cleaning solution cannot create foam or even bubbles (go on, do it now!) 
Alternatives? The one we recommend without fail is the Durr MD555, this is different to Orotol as it is a cleaner not a disinfectant.
It is important to use a cleaner rather than a disinfectant when dealing with the suction system. You can of course use any cleaner you like
but make sure it stipulates 'NON FOAMING'.
Bubbles are for small children, not dental equipment :) Keep an eye out for our next top tip 'Suction system cleaner, and how to use it properly'