Cleaning Cleanrooms: How Often Should You Have Your Cleanroom Cleaned?

Cleaning Cleanrooms: How Often Should You Have Your Cleanroom Cleaned?

After investing in a top-of-the-line cleanroom, keeping it in pristine condition is crucial. When properly cared for, a cleanroom will function at peak performance. If not, the quality of the cleanroom can quickly deteriorate, affecting daily operations. 

To learn the best cleaning cleanroom procedures and practices, just keep reading!  

6 Effective Cleanroom Cleaning Strategies

Cleaning your cleanroom is more than just the protocol; it also relies on your products, people, and regular performance checks.

Note: Even if you follow a regular cleaning schedule, contaminants can still infiltrate your cleanroom and interrupt your processes. Cleaning your cleanroom is more than just the protocol; it also relies on your products, people, and regular performance checks.

1. Follow Industry-Specific Standards

Cleanrooms vary widely in use. Manufacturing cleanrooms don’t have the same functions or standards as pharmaceutical or laboratory cleanrooms. Depending on your industry, your cleanroom will have a specific layout, ISO rating, and cleanliness standard. Therefore, its cleaning schedule and procedure will also differ. 

Cleanrooms with higher ISO ratings must be kept at much higher levels of sanitation to reduce the chance of interference of minute particles and contaminants. Conversely, cleanrooms with lower class ratings may be less threatened by certain contaminants or smaller particle sizes, but they still require regular cleaning to maintain standards and efficiency.

2. Follow Contamination Prevention Protocols

The best way to keep your cleanroom clean is to follow proper sanitation techniques before entering a cleanroom. These include washing and drying hands completely, using sterile and not powdered gloves, following the proper gowning procedure for your ISO class, and ensuring all employees can access garments and tools that fit them.

In a perfect world, we would prevent contamination by introducing zero contaminants into your cleanroom environment. Of course, this is virtually impossible, so regular cleaning and maintenance of your cleanroom and its systems is critical.

3. Establish Regular Cleanroom Cleaning Procedures

Keeping your workspace clean requires diligent adherence to daily and weekly cleaning schedules. Depending on the strictness of your class standard, more rigorous objectives may need to be added, or these tasks will need to be completed more frequently. 

Whatever your facility requires, create and follow a cleaning schedule that clearly defines all assignments, making them easy to understand and follow. Here are the general cleaning protocols recommended for broad cleanroom needs.

Daily Cleanroom Cleaning:

  • Before a shift begins, use a damp mop on floors and vacuum to dry.
  • Vacuum all walls using a HEPA filter vacuum.
  • Wash and wipe all windows and pass-throughs dry.
  • At the end of every shift, wipe down all work areas. This should occur more frequently in cleanrooms with higher standards.
  • Put away products and supplies between shifts to prevent further contamination.

Weekly Cleanroom Cleaning:

  • Mop floors with a cleanroom-specific detergent, distilled water, and a HEPA filter vacuum.
  • Wipe walls with a damp sponge and distilled water, then vacuum dry.

As Needed:

  • Remove any residue or deposits on ceilings by washing with detergent and distilled water.
  • Using a damp sponge, wipe off all light lenses.
  • Change sticky mats as soon as you notice wear.

Remember, your specific cleanroom may have specialized cleaning and maintenance requirements. If you can keep and follow methodical cleaning procedures, you can enhance your cleanroom’s ability to serve you and your facility.

4. Use High-Quality Products Approved for Cleaning Cleanrooms

Cleaning products that are improperly sterilized or unsuitable for cleanroom use can cause contamination. You should use deionized and distilled water for mopping and wiping surfaces and use only cleanroom-specified cleaning agents. All chemicals and solvents for cleaning must be neutral, non-ionic, and non-foaming to avoid buildup on surfaces over time. High ISO class cleanrooms (ISO level 5-7) often require disinfectants to be sterilized before use, further protecting the cleanroom from any contaminants.

Never use scrubs or rags that could shed or corrode surfaces. Instead, only use woven polyester that is specified for cleanroom use. Employ a mopping system that separates dirty and clean water and will not scratch or contaminate the floor or walls. Follow a mopping protocol that efficiently cleans floors without spreading dirty water over cleaned areas.

It’s also a good practice to bring all materials that will be needed — such as brooms, mops, and cleaning agents — into the cleanroom before beginning to clean. This way, once the process is complete, you only need to exit once, reducing the possibility of contamination.

5. Properly Train Staff on Cleaning and Maintenance

All staff members and janitorial personnel should be well-educated on gowning procedures, environmental sterilization practices, and general equipment maintenance. It’s vital that they have a thorough understanding of the best methods for maintaining the cleanroom’s class standards.

Staff should also know what to do in case of a spill. Tools and cleaning supplies should be accessible, but not out in the open where cross-contamination could occur. Having guides and cleaning checklists posted visibly in the room will help staff maintain a sanitary environment.

6. Conduct Regular Cleanroom Cleaning Checkups

Even if you’re doing everything right and following the proper cleanroom procedures, continue to check your systems and air to monitor their quality and maintain particle levels. Air samplers or settle plates can test for organisms and measure particles per cubic feet.

Additionally, regular checkups of your HVAC system will ensure it maintains a steady temperature and humidity level, and consistently change air to your ISO specifications.

Expert Cleanroom Maintenance Solutions by Angstrom Technology

If you’re cleaning your cleanroom and still not getting the results you want, it might be time for some maintenance. Connect with the specialists at Angstrom Technology for comprehensive support in ensuring that every component within your cleanroom operates at its optimum capacity. Our expertise can troubleshoot any issues and ensure your cleanroom always functions to the best of its ability. 

Medical Cleanroom Gowning Procedure

Medical Cleanroom Gowning Procedure

In many medical cleanroom applications, the slightest risk of contamination could have disastrous consequences for the development or testing of products. For this reason, garments are used to protect employees and processes. The purpose of the cleanroom gowning procedure is to limit particles that get in or on garments before entering the cleanroom. Once you have a cleanroom gowning procedure laid organized, make sure it is clearly communicated to all employees and posted in a visible location within the gowning room itself.

Having a procedure for donning protective equipment is crucial for the safety of your operations, although the gowning process itself as well as the cleanroom supplies and garments used will vary depending on your cleanroom’s application and the classification requirements for your cleanroom. Let’s walk through an example of a cleanroom gowning procedure that can be used for many medical cleanrooms.

Medical Cleanroom Gowning Procedure

A comprehensive cleanroom gowning procedure involves three stages, which are translated into distinct areas within the gowning room. Each must be kept separate in order to limit contamination. The three areas used in the cleanroom gowning procedure are:

  • The Pre-Changing zone: for the removal of items not worn under garments 
  • The Changing zone: for donning and storing garments and cleanroom supplies
  • The Entrance zone: to conduct final checks before entering the cleanroom

Before beginning the cleanroom gowning procedure, employees must have recently showered, be wearing clean clothing and hair covers, and be as personally clean as possible.

Pre-Change Zone

The pre-change zone is the preliminary step of the cleanroom gowning procedure, where the majority of particles are removed prior to entering the cleanroom. In this zone, a sticky mat is used to clean the soles of the employee’s shoes. The employee must also remove clothing that won’t be worn in the cleanroom under the garment and store items safely where they can’t shed particles or contaminate clean garments.

In the pre-change zone, there will be a place for employees to scrub hands for a minimum of thirty seconds. Afterwards, they can apply a disinfectant and sterile moisturizer before moving onto the changing zone.

Changing Zone

Employees enter the changing zone by passing over a bench or into a separate room. In this area, they will don gloves, put on a facemask, select garments, and put on any necessary headgear and garments without touching the floor or other items in the room. While changing, the employee should take care to touch as little of the garments as possible. Specific gloves can be worn for this process if necessary to ensure no particles are carried onto the garments themselves.

With the proper attire donned, the employee will tuck their sleeves into their gloves and put on boots or shoe covers carefully so that they don’t touch the “dirty” area where they previously tread. 

Entrance Zone

The entrance zone is the final area of the gowning room, and the final stage of the cleanroom gowning procedure. It will have a full-length mirror and a place where employees can wash their hands to disinfect them one more time before entering the cleanroom. 

In the mirror, the employee should do a thorough visual check that the garment is worn properly and tucked in the necessary places — around sleeves and gloves, into boots, etc. — and that any headgear is secured and clean. The gloves should also be checked, and replaced if torn or contaminated before reaching the entrance zone. Once the check is complete, the employee may enter the cleanroom.

The cleanroom gowning procedure may seem extensive or complicated, but it is vital to limit the potential level of contamination entering the cleanroom. However, implementing a solid procedure is only part of this task. The cleanroom gowning procedure depends on a thoughtfully designed gowning room in order to be effective. 

Medical Cleanroom Design: Gowning Rooms

The medical cleanroom design should facilitate a proper gowning procedure by including the necessary space for gowning rooms and the three zones within them, including the pre-changing zone, the changing zone, and the entrance zone. Each area should be equipped with the furniture and cleanroom supplies employees will need as they move through the cleanroom gowning procedure. These supplies include benches and cabinets for changing areas and storage of both clean garments and dirty ones — which must be kept in separate and secure areas.

The structure of the gowning room must also facilitate the cleanroom gowning procedure. Cleanroom doors and pass-throughs must allow contamination-free entrance and exit areas for both employees and supplies.

Finally, the cleanroom systems — including HVAC, HEPA filtration, and airflow — must work together to change the air effectively and prepare the employee for entrance into the cleanroom environment. In some sensitive applications, a dedicated HVAC system and fan/filter units may be necessary to capture particles during the cleanroom gowning procedure to keep them from entering your medical cleanroom.

Is your gowning room prepped to allow for maximum efficiency and minimum contamination? Angstrom Technology designs, builds, and installs secure and controlled cleanroom gowning rooms. We can help make sure your space is helping you reach your stringent classification requirements and eliminating contaminants wherever possible. For more information, give us a call or reach out online.

What Not to Wear: Cleanroom Edition

What Not to Wear: Cleanroom Edition

Obviously, your cleanroom’s construction and air filtration system are critical factors in keeping your cleanroom contamination-free, but so is what people wear in the cleanroom. People and fabrics are major sources of contaminants, and it’s crucial your control those sources with proper attire. Here’s what (and what not) to wear in a cleanroom:


  • Hoods
  • Hair Covers
  • Coveralls
  • Intersuits
  • Boots or shoe covers
  • Facial Covers
  • Gloves
  • Frocks

Depending on the classification of your cleanroom, there may be different requirements for the garments you have to wear. For instance, an ISO 3 Class (Fed Std. Class 1) cleanroom will likely require all of the garments listed in the “do’s” above, and will likely require that those garments be changed for new or cleaned ones every time you enter the cleanroom, whereas an ISO Class 5 cleanroom will require most of those garments, to be changed every day, and an ISO Class 8 cleanroom will require only some of those garments and that they be changed every two weeks.


  • Makeup
  • Long hair (uncovered or not pulled back)
  • Fibrous sweaters or materials that shed
  • Materials that cause static
  • Dirty clothes or shoes
  • Extremely loose or baggy clothing
  • Shorts, tank tops, or other clothing that has cutouts or exposes skin

The “don’ts” here are don’ts because these items can bring contamination into the cleanroom. Dirty clothes and shoes are the most obvious of these contaminators, but a lot of contamination can come from the skin and hair cells we lose every day without us even knowing. Makeup can also shed from the skin and cause contamination, as can the fibers from clothing.

If you’re updating your current cleanroom, or starting from scratch, call the experts at Angstrom Technology.

Teaching Employees Proper Cleanroom Gowning Techniques

Teaching Employees Proper Cleanroom Gowning Techniques

If you have a cleanroom, you probably already know that humans are the biggest source of cleanroom contamination. The fact is that you do need people in the cleanroom to be able to manufacture your product. This means that your employees have to be gowned properly in order to reduce the amount of particles that are released into the air inside your cleanroom. The difficult part is deciding how they should gown, and ensuring that all employees are properly gowned, at all times.

Depending on what type of cleanroom you have, your employee requirements for gowning will be different. In some cases, they may just have to put on a lab coat and goggles, where in others they’ll need a full bunny suit. Generally, these requirement correspond with the level of cleanliness your cleanroom has to meet. The higher the standards, the more gear your employees will have to wear.

Once you know what your employees are required to wear, you can easily design a protocol for them to follow. It’s a good idea to keep a mirror in the gowning station, so employees can make sure garments are properly tucked in. You may also post a picture of someone properly gowned, as a “how to” reference for employees.

Here is a general list of things to consider when teaching employees proper gowning technique, to help you establish a simple, step by step process that your employees can follow every time they enter the cleanroom:

Remember that proper cleanroom attire starts outside the gowning room: Employees should be discouraged from wearing makeup, jewelry, hairsprays or perfumes, as these can all give off unnecessary particles and fumes, endangering the balanced state of your cleanroom.

Consider footwear: It may be a good idea for employees to have shoes dedicated only to the cleanroom, in the interest of minimizing contamination. If employees change shoes before even entering the gowning room, you’re minimizing the amount of dirt and dust particles tracked into the cleanroom.

No food: While this may seem like a no-brainer, make sure you’re reminding employees never to eat in the cleanroom. It may seem like a hassle for them to leave for lunch, and then redo the entire gowning process, but it’s a greater concern to have any kind of food or gum in the cleanroom. It’s a good idea to put up a sign outside the door to remind anyone entering the cleanroom of this rule.

Top to bottom gowning: When you’re developing your gowning protocol, it’s important to know that gowning should be done from top to bottom. That means that employees should start with hoods, then move to tops, then pants, then shoe covers. This method of dressing prevents any particles from falling down to already-gowned pants or booties.

Don’t touch: Employees should be aware that most cleanliness violations happen as a result of a garment being touched by dirty hands, or the floor. You should stress the importance of regularly washing and drying hands and gloves, as well as ensuring that garments do not touch the floor. A good way to minimize these issues is to make sure that surfaces are ultra-clean, and that no-touch washers and dryers are readily available.

Minimize motion: Believe it or not, people emit thousands of particles a minute even when they’re dressed in cleanroom gowning gear, and sitting still. As soon as people begin to move, that number of particles increases exponentially. This is why both your gowning room and your cleanroom itself, should be set up to minimize movement as much as possible.

With these considerations in mind, it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a thorough, step-by-step gowning procedure for your employees. Once you design the protocol, it’s important to make sure you train, and retrain it. Your personnel should attend a formal training program, but don’t stop there. Post reminder posters outside the gowning room, and make sure that your employees understand how important the gowning process is to maintaining the standards of your cleanroom. The best way to keep your cleanroom clean is to have a unified program for gowning procedure that everyone follows.

If you’re in need of gowning supplies, or if you’re looking for more information on cleanrooms, give the experts at Angstrom a call! We’ve been in the business for more than 20 years, and design, repair, and supply every kind of cleanroom. At 888-768-6900 we’re here to help answer any cleanroom question.

3 Essential Cleanroom Supplies You Should Always Have on Hand

3 Essential Cleanroom Supplies You Should Always Have on Hand

Whether you’re new to cleanrooms, or you’ve been working with them your entire career, there’s no doubt that they can be a finicky part of your business operation. You have to maintain exact standards, and when your cleanroom is down, so is your company. So, what can you do to make sure your cleanroom is functioning to its required standards at all times?

Though it might sound obvious, keeping it well stocked with necessary cleanroom supplies is the best way to keep your cleanroom performing to standard. Below is a list of the three most important cleanroom supplies you should always have on hand, and why they’re so important:

Replacement Filters

Filters are what keep the air in a cleanroom clean. Without clean filters, your cleanroom has little to no hope of performing to standard. So, it’s good to always have backup filters on hand, both HEPA, ULPA, and pre-filters. But how many should you have?

Prefilters: Depending on the standards your cleanroom has to meet, you probably change your pre-filters once every few months. Every time you change them, you should make sure you have enough replacements to get you through at least one more change. If not, you risk putting your operation behind.

HEPA/ULPA: Same goes for HEPA or ULPA filters. You should have at least one replacement for each operating HEPA/ULPA filter at all times. Though you change these very infrequently, sometimes even years apart, HEPA /ULPA filters much more important than pre-filters. They are responsible for filtering the greatest amount of tiny air particulate, so it makes sense to always have replacements on hand, in case of an emergency.

Gowning Materials

If you regularly order cleanroom supplies, you know that you go through boxes of gowning materials in no time. Hoods, bunny suits, booties, and cleanroom gloves of all varieties, are crucial to your everyday operations. It’s important that your company develop some sort of system so that you never run out of these essential cleanroom supplies.

For example: You may have employees alert the person in charge of ordering cleanroom supplies every time you have less than two weeks worth of a certain gowning material. Whether it’s gloves or cleanroom suits, a good rule of thumb is that when you open the last box of cleanroom supplies, you order another shipment.

Cleanroom Cleaners

While this might sound like common sense, it’s surprising how quickly you can run out of cleaning supplies. Maybe you’ve experienced that feeling of dread when an employee reports and says that there aren’t any more bottles of cleaner. There’s nothing worse than frantically trying to find the right cleaner, and then making sure it gets shipped overnight so your cleanroom can continue to function at standard for the next business day.

Similar to gowning materials, it’s a good idea to have a system in place so that this sort of situation doesn’t happen. Make sure you always have at least one full bottle of any disinfectant or cleaner.

If you are in need of cleanroom supplies, or if you are looking into designing your own cleanroom, give the experts at Angstrom a call at 888-768-6900. We can design a cleanroom that functions to your exact specifications and standards, and we also carry replacement cleanroom supplies!