I am trying to find information about a washer for wheelchairs. At the hospital I work in we have 146 rigid structure wheelchairs that currently we clean by hand. Do you know of a machine that would be quicker, but safe for wheelchair pressure spray washing?
I hear you, to clean your typical wheelchair a layer of grit, germs, dirt and waste must be removed from a maze of tubes, and plastic and metal components. Not to mention the upholstery, that once saturated with water takes a very long time to dry. Bottom line, cleaning a wheelchair is downright labor-intensive. It can take 45- minutes on average to thoroughly clean just one wheelchair. However in an environment like a hospital, where cleanliness and sanitization is imperative to the safety of the patients, the job is a must in order to prevent the spread of infection and illness – especially when patients share assistive equipment.
Spray washing, or pressure washing, as you suggest, blasts a wheelchair with a hard stream of hot water. This has a negative effect on the working components of the wheelchair and on the upholstery. The continuous pressure washes away vital lubricants that keep the wheelchair running smoothly, and it corrodes and rips away at metallic and fabric wheelchair parts.
One option that many healthcare facilities are beginning to implement is automated cleaning and infection control systems. These cleaning systems resemble mini-car washes on wheels. They operate on a rotational spray system that has spray nozzles that can reach those hard to-clean areas on a wheelchair. The spray pressure on an automated cleaning system recognizes the importance of the equipment it’s cleaning, so it’s designed to be applied effectively, but non-destructively.
The cleaning system hooks directly into the building’s water supply and just needs a drain for waste water. A wheelchair is rolled right inside the washer enclosure and the system is programmed to run through a process of clean, sanitize and disinfect. The automated system will even dispense certain sanitary chemicals if programmed to do so. Just do a search online for “automated cleaning and infection control systems” and you’ll get a ton of information and manufacturers.