Always clean the instruments before sterilization. If the instruments are sterilized without cleaning, the stains on them can be burnt into the instruments leaving permanent marks. This is because of very high temperature during sterilization.
Before cleaning, instruments should be disinfected using a suitable disinfectant preferably the one not containing phenol.
Manual cleaning should begin soon after the surgeries are over. Do not delay cleaning. Use a soft brush and not a steel wood or drill brush to clean the instruments to remove stubborn impurities. Instruments should always be cleaned in a non-corrosive, natural cleaning agent with little foaming. The instruments should then be rinsed in distilled water.
The use of ultrasonic cleaners and thermo-disinfectant is also becoming common. Here again, care must be taken in the selection of cleaning agents, detergents and disinfectants. Please ensure that they do not damage the metal. Always remember these methods can clean but do not sterilize!