Cleaning and Care

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Stethoscope Cleaning and Care

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  • Your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope is designed to provide years of reliable service. By routinely cleaning your stethoscope, you can help extend its life and acoustic performance.

    Practicing regular stethoscope care and  using your stethoscope correctly as outlined in your stethoscope’s user manual will not only help prolong its continued acoustic performance, but also aid in the upkeep of its tubing colour and chestpiece finish. Most importantly, it will contribute to the overall maintenance of hygiene at your workplace.

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Cleaning stethoscope parts

Tunable diaphragms, non-chill bell sleeves and eartips can be removed for thorough cleaning with 70% alcohol or mild soapy water. Ensure that all parts and surfaces are dried thoroughly before reassembly.

  Removal Reassembly
Tunable diaphragm
  • • Pinch the rim of the diaphragm.
  • • Pull and lift it from the chestpiece.
  • • Insert flexible end into groove of rim.
  • • Slowly roll it over the edge.
  • • Pull firmly off headset.
  • • Push the small side firmly onto the eartube until it snaps fully into place.
Non-chill bell sleeve
  • • Pull and lift it off the chestpiece.
  • • Place one side of the edge onto the bell.
  • • Stretch it over and around the edge of the bell.
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  • Important Tip:

    • Do refer to your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope owner’s manual for detailed instructions on parts removal and reassembly, as well as the cleaning of specific stethoscope parts.
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Stethoscope cleaning and decontamination

You can clean your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope between patient exams, and to remove organic material. The practice of using hand sanitisers to clean stethoscopes is not recommended because of additives that may damage parts of the stethoscope, such as the diaphragms.

  • Cleaning your stethoscope

    We recommend these cleaning solutions for all 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope models:

    ✓ Mild soap and water

    ✓ 70% alcohol

    ✓ 2% bleach solution (may cause tubing discolouration)

    Do not:

    ✕ Use hand sanitizers

    ✕ Immerse stethoscope in any liquid

    ✕ Subject your stethoscope to any sterilisation process

    Never rinse or soak your 3M™ Littmann®
    Stethoscope. Clean it with an alcohol wipe,
    or a wipe dipped in an appropriate
    cleaning solution.

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Proper stethoscope storage

Proper storage of your stethoscope is important to increase its lifespan and prevent damage to its functional and aesthetic aspects. There are many ways of storing your stethoscope for extended periods of time or in harsh environments – here are some of them.

  • how to store stethoscopes safely

    Where to store your stethoscope:

    • In the box that it came in.

    • In a natural position inside a cool and dry cupboard, drawer or locker.

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  • Important Tip:

    • Do not expose your stethoscope to extreme heat or cold.

    • Store your stethoscope away from direct sunlight as continuous exposure will harden its tubing.

    • Do not place/keep your stethoscope near solvents and oils.

    • Do not place heavy objects on your stethoscope as it could excessively warp or bend.

    • Do not store it tightly folded in pockets.

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Four signs it is time to replace/repair your stethoscope

Your stethoscope will be one of your most-used instruments at work, which makes it susceptible to wear and tear after some time. Here are some common indicators that it may be time to repair your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope, find replacement parts (from eartips to chestpiece and tubing), or invest in a new stethoscope.

  • 1. Its parts are worn and torn, or weather-beaten from sunlight exposure.

    2. The stethoscope's tubing is bent, becomes hard or cracked due to being exposed for long periods of time to skin oils.

    3. Loss of functionality due to e.g. immersion in water

    4. Damage to the diaphragm(s), eartips, and non-chill bell sleeves.

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  • Tip:

    • To improve the longevity of your stethoscope, wear it with a collar to minimise skin contact.
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Using Your Stethoscope

Discover handy tips for the proper use of your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope

Learn key stethoscope usage here.
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