Keeping cleanrooms contaminant-free is a fundamentally crucial goal. When contaminants enter a cleanroom, it can cost a significant amount of money to remediate the facility. In extreme cases, the cost of a fast-spreading fungal, viral or bacterial infection can be human lives.
It is vital that everyone who enters a cleanroom understands the importance of following the procedures put in place to keep cleanrooms safe and free from contamination. The first step is a detailed plan for gowning.
Cleanroom Gowning Procedure
Covering Up (Gowning) Steps
Prepare for clean room gowning:
- Remove jewelry, makeup, heavy coats, sweatshirts and other "extra" items
- Check that the tacky mat is fresh: if not, slowly pull it up toward the center and replace it with a clean tacky mat.
- Step on the tacky mat three times, rotating to make sure your entire shoe contacts the mat.
- Inside the room, prepare all the materials you'll need.
As you gown, take a "top-down" approach, starting at your head and working your way down.
- Put on a cap and beard cover.
- Check to make sure all hair is covered.
- Select, inspect, clean, and then put on safety glasses or goggles.
- Put on one layer of gloves (this set of gloves is considered your "gowning gloves" set).
- Put on a coverall gown.
- Ensure that the gown never touches the floor by gathering leg and arm cuffs and then releasing them one at a time.
- If a separate hood is part of the gown, tuck the shoulder panels inside and under the gown before you zip.
- Don shoe covers, one at a time as you step over the line or bench. Note: Take extreme care to avoid contaminating the room's clean side with any contact from the dirty side.
- Put on the second pair of gloves over the first and stretch them over the gown sleeve cuffs.
Now, you're ready to enter the cleanroom, but first, follow these steps:
- Use hand sanitizer or another cleaning agent approved by your employer.
- Enter the air shower and use it until it turns off, making sure to turn so that the air can get to every spot.
- Enter cleanroom.
Cleanroom Protocol for De-gowning
De gowning Steps
- Remove boot or shoe covers. If they are to be used again, store them in the designated container or bag.
- If you're wearing two sets of gloves, discard the outer pair. Otherwise, remove gloves last.
- De-gown by removing the coverall gown. Hang in the approved area or discard.
- Remove eyewear and place it in the proper storage container.
- Remove hood and place in an approved area, or discard.
- Exit the gowning room and enter the antechamber.
- Remove and discard face mask.
- Remove and discard the cap.
- Remove and discard the inner pair of gloves.
- Place disposable items and recyclable items into the appropriate receptacles.
Helpful Cleanroom Resources
Use this Pegasus Building Services cleanroom cleaning guide for step-by-step instructions to properly maintaining your cleanroom. You'll also find several handy tips to keep the process streamlined and straightforward.