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Your Ultimate Guide to Sanitizing and Cleaning Lead Aprons

By April 5, 2022October 24th, 2023No Comments

Lead aprons, like any gear used frequently, need regular cleaning. Dirt, grease, blood, and chemicals can easily build up. As a result, they become unsanitary for the user. Whether they are being used in the medical or veterinary field, lead aprons, collars, or glasses must always be kept as sanitized and clean as possible. 

Cleaning a lead apron may seem confusing, or you may not know what products and strategies are most effective. This guide contains simple steps and tips to help you keep your lead aprons in top shape.

Importance of Cleaning and Sanitizing Lead Apron

Simply wiping lead aprons down with a wet cloth is not enough. Fully cleaning, in addition to sanitizing, is absolutely necessary for proper maintenance.

A lack of proper sanitizing and deep cleaning could have a very negative impact, both on the user and the apron itself. One of the most dangerous effects is the development and transmission of a highly contagious bacteria: ringworm. Ringworm is a dry, itchy rash that can be passed on via clothing. 

In addition to protecting against adverse health effects, having a clean apron ensures the user is properly protected against radiation. Radiation is hazardous for both humans and animals, so all lead aprons一 regardless of industry一 need routine cleaning. It also extends the lifetime of the apron, saving material, time, and money.

Steps in Cleaning and Sanitizing Lead Apron

The process of cleaning and sanitizing a lead apron is fairly straightforward. Once you have gathered the necessary materials (aprons, cleaning agent, cloth, and brush), the cleaning should only require about ten minutes.

Steps for cleaning a lead apron:

Step 1. Wipe down Apron with a Barrier Technologies Secure Shield Apron Cleaning Wipe which is comprehensively active against all types of stains. 

Step 2. Sanitize with a Hospital Grade disinfectant.  Barrier Technologies has several types of sanitizing wipes, made specifically for cleaning lead aprons. Check which chemicals are safe to use. Bleach should not be used.

Step 3. Hang up to air dry.

Step 4. Avoid prolonged treatment with high-cleanser concentrations. Submerging aprons should also be avoided. These could damage your apron; they should be surface-cleaned only.

Step 5. If you are unsure about cleaning the lead aprons yourself, an x-ray apron servicing company that implements multi-step cleaning and sanitation should be available to assist you. Do not dry clean or machine wash.

Lead Apron Cleaning Guidelines

Maintaining lead aprons does not solely refer to cleaning and sanitizing. Inspection, storage, and disposal are equally important to safeguard the aprons’ effectiveness and longevity. As such, below are guidelines detailing proper inspection, storage, and disposal.

How to Inspect Lead Aprons

Before cleaning a lead apron, it should be carefully inspected in detail. Checking over an apron only takes a few minutes, yet it makes a huge difference.

The inspection process should include:

  • Visually checking the seams to see if they are in need of any repair.
  • Checking the outer and inner covers of the x-ray apron for any abnormalities in the protective material.
  • Looking for any visible damage. 
  • Checking the belts and fastening devices.
  • Inspecting the surface to locate any potential lumps, cracks, sagging or separation from the apron seams. 
  • Conducting a radiograph test on the lead aprons for further inspection to see if there are cracks, tears, creased sections that may not be visible to the naked eye.


Ways to Properly Store Lead Aprons

In addition to inspection and cleaning, storage is one of the most important factors in properly maintaining lead aprons. Inappropriate storage can permanently damage the apron. For example, cracks may form in the lead lining, impacting the overall effectiveness of the apron.

Here are some guidelines for correct apron storage:

  • Aprons should be hung on hangers to prevent cracks when not in use.
  • Do not store x-ray aprons on a flat surface. 
  • Aprons should never be folded or creased when being stored.
  • Hook and loop fasteners must be secured properly. 
  • Aprons should always be kept away from heat, as well as pressure. 
  • Keep away from chemicals. Bleach and other strong chemicals may negatively interact with the lead. 
  • Apron racks are available to guarantee aprons are stored well.


How to Dispose of X-ray Lead Aprons

When a lead apron has suffered damage or become old, it needs to be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Lead aprons cannot be simply thrown in the garbage. If you are unsure of how to dispose of old lead aprons, try the following steps:

  • Contact a recycling company.
  • Contact your hazardous waste carrier or handling company.
  • Bring your aprons to a local landfill. 

How To Make Cleaning Lead Aprons Easier

There are some ways to make the cleaning process a bit easier. Lead aprons should be cleaned as often as possible, so any strategies for a quick routine are useful. Keeping the aprons generally clean will reduce stains or build-up, but the apron structure itself can also ease the cleaning process.

Sanitizing Lead Apron Wipes

The easiest way to clean your lead aprons quickly and thoroughly is by using sanitizing wipes. Barrier Technologies, a specialist in protective gear, has cleaning materials made with this gear in mind. It is safe, effective, and keeps all gear as sanitary as possible. 

Secure Shield Apron Cleaning Wipes come in containers, so they can be conveniently kept nearby, and are useful for preventing stains and the accumulation of dirt, grease, and dust, check them out here.

Look for Lead Aprons with Magnetic Closures

MagnaGuard Velcro-Free X-ray Aprons like these, have numerous benefits with regards to the cleaning process.

These benefits include:

  • Covid-19 compliant material
  • Stain-resistant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Easy to wipe down and clean
  • Impervious to fluids
  • Reduces HAIs


Look for Lead Aprons with Magnetic Enclosures

Besides lead aprons with Velcro enclosures, another option is xray lead aprons with magnetic enclosures. Magnetic enclosures are a fantastic, modern option. They have the same benefits are Velcro enclosures, with extra advantages:

  • Can be cleaned with any hospital-grade disinfectant
  • Last much longer 
  • Eliminate velcro hair pulls
  • Reduce the amount of plastic in each apron  


Barrier Technologies: Lead Aprons

Barrier Technologies is an expert in lead aprons, lead thyroid shield collars, glasses, etc. As an industry leader, we aim to provide innovative solutions and high-quality products. Our lead aprons are some of the best available and, with proper care, will last many years. 

Our wide range of materials are able to be customized, and all can be maintained following the above guidelines. For more details, check out Barrier Technologies’ lead apron catalog.