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Keep your 3M Littmann stethoscope in top condition

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How to clean stethoscope 3m littmann

Stethoscope Cleaning and Care

Extend the life and acoustic performance of your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope with these tips.

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Alert: Stay safe in the fight against COVID-19. Reduce the risk of contamination by disinfecting your stethoscope regularly.

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Auscultation plays a critical part in assessment and treatment protocols. However, stethoscopes are often at risk of contamination, especially when used in direct contact with patients. To ensure the safety of you and your patients, always clean your stethoscope after each diagnosis. Follow the steps below to learn how to disinfect your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope correctly. 

3M is committed to supporting healthcare workers through critical resources on infection prevention and control.  For more information about stethoscope cleaning and other COVID-19-related content, visit our blog here.


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Stethoscope cleaning and decontamination


You can clean your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope between patient exams to remove any 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 tubing.

  • how to clean stethoscope with 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes

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

    ✓ Mild soap and water

    ✓ 70% isopropyl 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

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  • Important Tip:

    • 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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Cleaning stethoscope parts

Tunable diaphragms, non-chill bell sleeves, and ear tips can be removed for cleaning. We recommend using 70% isopropyl alcohol or mild soapy water to clean stethoscope parts. 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 chest piece.
  • • Insert flexible end into groove of rim.
  • • Slowly roll it over the edge.
Eartips
  • • 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 chest piece.
  • • Place one side of the edge onto the bell.
  • • Stretch it over and around the edge of the bell.
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Cleaning stethoscope parts

Tunable diaphragms, non-chill bell sleeves, and ear tips can be removed for cleaning. We recommend using 70% isopropyl alcohol or mild soapy water to clean stethoscope parts. Ensure that all parts and surfaces are dried thoroughly before reassembly.

  • Tunable diaphragm

    Removal

    • Pinch the rim of the diaphragm.

    • Pull and lift it from the chest piece.

    Reassembly

    • Insert flexible end into groove of rim.

    • Slowly roll it over the edge.

  • Eartips

    Removal

    • Pull firmly off headset.

    Reassembly

    • Push the small side firmly onto the eartube until it snaps fully into place.

  • Non-chill bell sleeve

    Removal

    • Pull and lift it off the chest piece.

    Reassembly

    • 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:

    • 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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SAFEGUARD YOUR STETHOSCOPE

Have your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope covered for repairs and replacements in our service centers. Register for your warranty online today. 

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Storing your stethoscope safely


Proper storage of your stethoscope helps 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.

  • littmann stethoscope storage box

    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 over time. Here are some common indicators that it may be time to repair your 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope, find replacement parts, or invest in a new stethoscope.

  • littmann stethoscope repair signs

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

    2. Its tubing 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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how to use a stethoscope

Using Your Stethoscope

Discover handy tips on using your 3M Littmann stethoscope correctly here. 

Learn how to use your 3M™ Littmann Stethoscope
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Find more answers

Don't see what you need? Get more answers on related 3M™ Littmann® topics, such as stethoscope engraving, replacement parts, and warranties. 

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