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Instrument Focus: Preventing Instrument Corrosion

By Securos Surgical

Surgical instrument corrosion can be a costly and frustrating issue. Read on for help in troubleshooting any instrument corrosion issues that you may be experiencing with your own surgical instruments.
Rusted and corroded veterinary surgical instrument

1. Surface Corrosion

This type of corrosion is often found in box locks and other tight spaces and is similar in color to rust.  While this type of corrosion is superficial in the early stages, if allowed to remain on the instrument without treatment, the corrosion will progress and will eventually cause instrument failure.  This type of corrosion is caused by bio-burdens not being cleaned off of the instrument in a timely manner and/or due to improper cleaning.

2. Pitting

This type of corrosion is caused by extended exposure to blood as well as exposure to chlorides.  It appears on the surface of the instrument as either shallow or deep black holes (pits).  This type of corrosion is not reversible or repairable and the instrument should be replaced.  Remember to always begin the cleaning process within 10 minutes of completing a procedure, only use pH neutral instrument cleaners and use distilled water for the final rinsing before autoclaving.

3. Staining

There are several causes for staining as well as several types of staining.  A rust colored staining is usually caused by prolonged exposure to bio-burdens, failure to clean the instrument thoroughly prior to the first autoclave or demagnetizing.  Blue or black staining is caused by instruments of different metal qualities being cleaned and autoclaved together.  Blue or gray staining is caused by the use of cold sterilization or chemical/mineral residue.  Multicolor staining indicates that the instruments were exposed to excessive temperatures during autoclaving.
Corrosion is a major cause for premature instrument failure.  With proper care and maintenance, your premium surgical instruments should last for years to come.

Did you know?

Securos Surgical offers a complete line of instrument cleaning and care products. Email us at or call 877.266.3349 option #2 to hear more about instrument care.


Securos recommends a bi-annual servicing of your instrumentation to keep them in top performance shape. Contact us at or call 877.266.3349 option #2 for more information on our repair services.

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