Some of the most important scientific work is being done in cleanrooms. A cleanroom is a room that has been designed to keep highly-specialized equipment extremely clean and exposed to as little as possible from the environment. Airborne particulates, most of which are too small to be seen by the human eye, can upset research that is years in the making. These particulates, such as dust (which is mostly dead human skin cells), airborne organisms (mostly viruses and bacteria), and other vaporized particles (such as pollen in the air), should be minimized as much as possible. This is where cleanroom cleaning comes into play.

SourceONE Building Maintenance is a commercial cleaning company based out of San Jose. We service commercial clients, including cleanroom clients, in the area. Being that this is the hub of Silicon Valley, we understand the innate importance of taking clean to this ultimate level. With a highly specialized cleaning staff who are extremely knowledgeable and experience in cleanroom protocols, we can help you with regular cleanroom services. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at cleanrooms and the training required to clean them. Contact us today for your cleanroom cleaning needs!

HISTORY OF CLEANROOMS

As you can well imagine, cleanrooms haven’t been around all that long. If you are familiar with history, germs themselves weren’t even discovered or explained until 1850 with the work of Louis Pasteur. Prior to this period, people believed that foul odors created disease, or evil spirits. The basic idea of germs existed in the Middle Ages, but no one accepted it. With the improvements of the microscope in the late 1800s, germs, viruses, and bacteria were finally recognized and formally discovered as microorganisms that caused diseases in humans. Hygiene and sanitation were recognized for their importance in keeping humans safe from these harmful microorganisms, and gradually, practices were accepted in the early 20th century of sterile environments and cleanliness.

In 1960, the concept for a cleanroom was invented by physicist Willis Whitfield. By this time, computers had come along, as well as research into many types of diseases as well as cures for diseases, and contamination of the workspaces was becoming a big problem. Airflow and particles were upsetting research, so the idea of the modern cleanroom with constantly filtered airflow and extreme care of introducing contaminants arose.

Today, cleanrooms can be very large, and they are subject to very strict standards, depending on what is in the cleanroom. Usually, the outside air is filtered and cooled by several air handlers that are designed to remove dust and other contaminants. This air is then recirculated and filtered again. Special lighting is often installed to minimize the generation of airborne particles, and every item in the room is screened for efficiency. The air temperature and humidity inside the cleanroom is rigorously controlled. This not only protects the equipment, which can become extremely hot, but it cuts down on the growth of pathogens as well. Ionized bars may be present to control static electricity.

As you can see, cleanroom protocol is rigorous, intense, and specialized, meaning the staff who enter and leave must all be properly trained in order to maintain the cleanroom. SourceONE Building Maintenance invests heavily in training all of our staff for all of our customers’ different cleanrooms. When you partner with us in the San Jose area, you can rest assured that your cleanroom cleaning will be held to the highest standards. Contact us today to begin!

HOW TO KEEP A CLEANROOM CLEAN

As you can see, cleanrooms must be kept as clean as possible in order to continue to run efficiently and allow the researchers in the room the sterile environment they need to do their jobs. In 1999, the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) issued ratings for cleanrooms in order to better standardize the requirements across industries and sectors. Included in these ISO Ratings are the methods and materials that can be used in sanitizing and cleaning the cleanroom. The rating will establish which materials can be used. All cleanrooms require the cleaning materials of the commercial cleaning company to be reviewed before beginning. For higher-grade cleanrooms (typically an ISO 14644 class rating of 5 or higher) requires only sterile disinfectants be used.

Understanding ISO Ratings

ISO Ratings 14644 apply to cleanrooms. Every cleanroom has been given at least one ISO Rating to stipulate what type of cleanroom it is and the cleaning requirements. Most standards apply to cleanliness and particulate count so that facilities can measure their contamination levels against established benchmarks. Below is a general guide as to what the ratings apply to.

ISO 14644-1 — Classifies air cleanliness by particle concentration
ISO 14644-2 — Monitors performance of air cleanliness
ISO 14644-3— Pertains to test methods used
ISO 14644-5 — Specifies operations for cleanrooms
ISO 14644-9 — Classifies surface particle cleanliness
ISO 14644-10 — Classifies surface cleanliness by chemical concentrations
ISO 14644-12 — Specifies air cleanliness by the nanoscale concentration

When designated with a certain ISO class rating, everyone knows exactly the standards to be met, including the cleanroom cleaning team. There are many ISO Ratings, and the commercial cleaning staff here at SourceONE is trained on all of them in order to provide the best cleanroom cleaning services. Contact us today to learn more!