Guide to cleaning and disinfecting gas detectors

July 2, 2021

Combustible and toxic gas detectors use electrochemical and catalytic bead sensors that are designed to be highly sensitive to specific hazardous gases. The performance of these sensors can be affected by the presence of other chemical compounds, such as those found in some cleaning products and antiseptics. Using such products to clean or disinfect gas detectors may cause temporary or permanent changes in the sensitivity of a sensor.

Customers should avoid disinfecting detectors with cleaning agents that include the following active ingredients:

  • Alcohol, including products like Purell and Lysol or Lysol wipes
  • Sodium hypochlorite (bleach), including products like Clorox or Clorox wipes
  • D-limonene, including products like Dawn or Sunlight dishwashing liquid

Customers using products with these ingredients in their facilities should ensure they take extra care when handling gas detectors and their sensors. If possible, antiseptic products should be removed from all areas where gas detectors are used and stored.

If products with these ingredients are used to sterilize workers' hands, allow sufficient time for the active ingredients to evaporate before handling gas detectors.

For routine cleaning and disinfection of gas detectors, customers should use hand soap and water that does not include any of the cleaning agents listed above and wipe the detector with a soft, damp cloth.

Detectors should be calibrated or, at a minimum, bump tested after each cleaning to ensure functionality. Follow OSHA's Safety and Health Information Bulletin for Calibrating and Testing Portable Direct Reading Gas Monitors (SHIB 09-30-2013).

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