How the test is carried out

The basic steps to performing a WASHtAK Test are:

  1. Place WASHtAK in with the dirty instruments
  2. Wash the instruments as normal
  3. Once the process is finished, use the bar code reader to collect all the relevant information and retrieve WASHtAK from the washer.
  4. Return the bar code reader to the tAK Analyser and follow the instructions on the screen.
  5. When prompted dispense the test strip into the test tube
  6. The tAK Analyser will then perform the testing procedure and display the result on the screen.


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How WASHtAK compares to current test methods






The Test Itself

The core idea behind the WASHtAK test is that you have a known starting load of enzyme on the test strip.  This is then exposed to the complete wash process. After the wash is complete, the user assays the test strip to find out the remaining concentration of enzyme. The better the wash, the less enzyme will be present afterwards. The results are quantifiable and therefore objective, and easy to integrate into track and trace systems.


washtak diagram.png


Capabilities and Benefits

Measuring the whole wash process

Unlike other tests where the aim is remove all the test soil or to detect nothing, the tAK on the WASHtAK test strip is so challenging to remove that we haven’t yet found a wash process that can c line acorss it), please can we upload a e result on the screen.andmitment ompletely clean it all off. This means there is always something to read, and more importantly it is testing the whole wash process from the first drop of water to the last – as opposed to other test methods which are in effect only testing up to the point where the test is “clean”, and therefore potentially missing problems that are happening after this point.



Parametric monitoring can tell you how well a machine is running, but not how well a machine is washing. A machine can, for example, be operating within its operating parameters and yet may not be washing effectively due to other factors such as problems in the water supply or issues with the detergent. Performing regular WASHtAK tests gives peace-of-mind that a machine is washing as it is expected to, thereby removing the need to assume. Plus thanks to it being quantitative you don’t need to worry about interpretation of the results.


Instant result – no lag time

A WASHtAK test can be performed in just a few minutes, so delivers peace-of-mind there and then to pass a batch of instruments onto the next stage. This is considerably better than alternative test methods where samples need to be sent off to labs for testing or for incubation.


No downtime

Some tests involve machine downtime, which in a busy CSSD costs money. This is avoided using WASHtAK tests as the test strips are put in with normal wash loads.


Easy to use – no additional training needed

WASHtAK tests don’t require specially qualified people or complex equipment to carry out the tests. The tests can be very easily carried out by the members of staff who operate the machines, thereby reducing the cost of bringing in expensive engineers or consultants.


Full traceability for quality control

The fact that the test is quantifiable means that test results can be taken into existing track and trace systems.


Legal integrity and protection

The ability to show that a batch of instruments was washed in a machine that was washing effectively (and as it did when it was validated) offers protection against being sued for malpractice.


Optimise your system

WASHtAK enables managers to measure and compare different variables, such as chemicals used and load configuration, to optimise the wash process.


Reduction in “knock-on costs”

Using WASHtAK  will reduce the “knock-on costs” of: Recall of instruments (and therefore the cancellation of operations), machine down time, legal costs, the costs associated with other tests that will no longer need to be performed.


Early problem detection

By carrying out tests on a regular basis the user can measure changes in how well a machine is washing over time, therefore being able to take proactive, preventative action when a machine starts to show signs of having problems, before there are any dire consequences.


Customer satisfaction

Where surgeons have specialist sets of instruments, documentation can be provided as to the efficacy of the washing process for that set.



WASHtAK and the Standards



The role of validation and routine monitoring