Procedural Knowledge

A sound knowledge of best practices and procedures concerning use and maintenance is key to getting the best from your cleanroom. If your personnel aren’t suitably abreast of the relevant cleaning procedures and maintenance protocols, issues can arise, such as the inability to maintain cleanliness, high cost of operations, exposure to hazardous materials, and others.

Because various classes of cleanroom require different procedures and supplies, it’s important to ascertain which specific protocols are relevant to your industry and class of cleanroom. Below is a general overview relating to best practices for gowning, entry and exit, as well as particle control.

Modular Cleanroom Benefits

  • Modular Construction
  • Quick Assembly Time
  • Versatility
  • Reconfiguration
  • Airflow Control
  • Inexpensive Modifications

Cleanroom Contamination Control Procedures

A cleanroom can be described as a controlled environment used for the packaging, manufacturing, and assembly of certain products. It is favoured because it minimises the risk of sub-micron airborne contamination, which originates from the environment, processes, personnel, facilities and equipment.

The higher the cleanliness class of a cleanroom, the lower the risk of particulates or contaminants corrupting processes within it. The ISO class system was established as a general standard for determining cleanliness and particle count, which facilities use to measure and test their contamination levels and subsequent risk.

Typical cleanroom contaminants include liquid, dust, human skin cells, hair, bacteria, fungus, trace moisture, cosmetics, perfumes, spills and leaks, fibres, lint, and more. Most cleanroom contamination typically originates from those working within that area.

Cleanroom Design, Build & Validation

  • Budgeting and planning
  • Engineering, design & layout
  • Airflow and filtration design
  • Construction and Installation
  • Full Certification of our product
  • Industry-specific equipment installation
  • Validation

General Procedural Practices for Entrance Rooms, Garment Rooms and Ante-rooms

  • The areas adjoining a cleanroom (entrance room, garment room and ante-room for example) must at least be as clean as the cleanroom itself.
  • Personal items such as watches, keys, matches, lighters and rings must be placed in a locker outside the gowning room.
  • A sticky mat and waste bin should be placed at the entrance of a gowning room for disposing saturated sticky tack layers.
  • Clothing, watches, jewellery and other wearable items should be stored in the gowning room’s ‘dirty’ side.
  • Cleanroom personnel must not be in contact with cigarette smoke at least 30 minutes before entering the cleanroom.

Hand Washing Best Practices for Cleanrooms

It is standard practice to wear gloves in a cleanroom. However, doing so is not an excuse to leave the gloves unwashed before being used. The risk of bacteria, virus, fungus, and other contamination is significantly higher when poor hand hygiene is practiced.

To thoroughly wash hands with soap and water before entering a Cleanroom, follow these steps:

Wafer analysis clean room
  • Firstly, wet hands and then apply soap
  • Apply the amount of soap recommended by the manufacturer
  • Use HEPA-equipped hand dryers, not towels (paper or otherwise)
  • Scrub all areas of both hand surfaces for at least 15 seconds
  • Don’t use hot water
  • Monitor the volume of alcohol-based hand rubs used
  • Fresh soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser
  • Do not touch clean materials such as clean garments prior to thorough hand washing
  • Before entering an EPA cleanroom, apply an ESD lotion
  • Keep fingernails natural and at less than 1/4″ long

Sterile Gloving Technique for Cleanrooms

Cleanroom gloves are worn to protect cleanroom products against contaminants from operators, equipment, or airborne particles. They also protect wearers from exposure to dangerous or irritative substances.

Proper procedures in relation to sterile glove use include:

  • Hands must be completely dry before wearing gloves
  • Sterile and non-powdered gloves must be used for cleanroom and aseptic processing
  • Place a glove on your dominant hand first
  • A wall-mounted consumable glove dispenser should be used to minimise movement and to allow for easier access
  • Avoid nail polish, jewellery or cosmetics if you’ll be wearing gloves
  • Do not dry gloved hands by speed waving – especially after applying alcohol solution
  • Do not use gloved hand to touch exposed skin

Cleanroom Gowning Procedures and Protocols

Appropriate cleanroom gowning supplies and equipment are essential components for cleanroom contamination control. The cleanroom gowning procedure checklist includes:

  • Before entering a gowning room, take at least three small steps on a sticky mat
  • Wipe shoes with shoe-brush cleaner, then wear covered boots over them
  • Put on a cleanroom bouffant
  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Wear cleanroom glove liners, then apply alcohol solution to the outside of liners
  • Wear cleanroom gloves
  • Apply alcohol solution to cleanroom gloves or wash them
  • Put on a cleanroom bouffant or beard cover if facial hair is present
  • Wear a freshly laundered cleanroom hood and attach facemask
  • Wear coveralls and do not touch the floor on the ‘dirty’ side of gowning bench
  • Tuck hood inside coveralls
  • Where cleanroom boots and gloves
  • Boots and gloves must overlap coveralls
  • Gowning bench is to be wiped down with a clean, sterile wiper
  • Self-check using a cleanroom mirror

We can train your cleanroom personnel with regards Cleanroom Cleaning Procedure, Cleanroom Gowning Procedure and Protocols to improve their procedural knowledge and protect your critical processes.

Phillip Godden

Phillip Godden is the Founder & Chief/Executive Officer at Total Clean Air.

Working Hours

  • Monday 08:00 - 19:30
  • Tuesday 08:00 - 19:30
  • Wednesday 08:00 - 19:30
  • Thursday 08:00 - 19:30
  • Friday 08:00 - 19:30