With the number of maintenance chemicals and standards out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what's the right chemical to use on your equipment.
There are two types of cleaning that are pertinent for oxygen equipment, cleaning and disinfecting with oxygen compatible cleaners and cleaning equipment for oxygen service.
1. Cleaning with oxygen-compatible cleaners
Oxygen can react with any residue, particles, dirt, oil, grease or other contaminants that are left on the surface of equipment which is in direct contact with oxygen, such as the cylinder valve or surface. The body of a cylinder or a regulator for example, should be cleaned with chemicals that will leave no residue behind that may cause an interaction with oxygen that may result in combustion.
2. Cleaning equipment for oxygen service
Surfaces that come into direct contact with oxygen, such as the valve opening on a cylinder, the inside of a cylinder or an oxygen connection must not only be cleaned with an oxygen compatible cleaner, but also with special equipment and processes to ensure that the surface has no particles left behind. If there are even small particles on the wetted surfaces such as the valve, the speed of the oxygen flowing through the valve, could ignite the particles. The procedure recommended to be followed for this type of cleaning is found in the publication CGA G 4.1.
3. Disinfecting oxygen cylinders
Cylinder surfaces should be precleaned before disinfecting as described above, otherwise the disinfectant may not be effective.
Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) or an equivalent disinfectant agent should be used. Disinfectant agents should be approved and used in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. Any use of alcohol based, or hydrocarbon-based cleaners should be limited to prevent the buildup of hydrocarbon residue. Use of these types of cleaners should be avoided or greatly limited around any valves. Appropriate steps must be taken to remove any residue that might be a fire risk on or near any valve. Ensure that all residual disinfecting agents are removed from the medical gas container using an appropriate agent such as an oxygen or surface cleaner. The procedure recommended to be followed for this type of cleaning is found in the publication CGA P-83.