Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Gas Detectors

By Alexandra Serban - Honeywell



Toxic and combustible gas detectors use electrochemical and catalytic bead sensors which are designed to be highly sensitive to specific hazardous gases. The performance of these sensors can be affected by the presence of other chemical compounds, such as those found in some cleaning and antiseptic products.


Using such products to clean or disinfect gas detectors may cause temporary or permanent changes in the sensitivity of a sensor.


Customers should avoid sanitizing detectors with cleaning agents which include the following active ingredients:


  • Alcohol, including products such as Purell® and Lysol® or Lysol wipes

  •  Sodium hypochlorite (bleach), including products such as Clorox® or Clorox wipes

  •  D-limonene, including products such as Dawn® or Sunlight® dishwashing liquid

  • Silicone, including products such as Armor-All® or Armor-All wipes


Customers using products with these ingredients at their site should ensure that additional care is taken when handling gas detectors and their sensors. If possible, antiseptic products should be removed from all areas where gas detectors are used and stored.

If products with these ingredients are being used to sterilize workers’ hands, allow enough time for the active ingredients to evaporate before handling gas detectors.

For routine cleaning and disinfecting of gas detectors, customers should use water and hand soap which does not include any of the previously-listed cleaning agents and wipe the detector with a soft, damp cloth.


Docks and accessories should be cleaned using the same method. A soft cloth towel should be used to dry off the exterior of the unit. Excessive moisture may damage electronic devices.


Detectors should be calibrated or, at a minimum, bump tested after each cleaning to ensure their functionality.


Please follow OSHA Safety Health Information Bulletin for Calibrating and Testing Direct-Reading Portable Gas Monitors (SHIB 09-30-2013).


Alexandra Serban

Content Marketing Specialist

Alexandra Serban is the Content Marketing Specialist for Honeywell Industrial Safety. A seasoned writer and digital storyteller, she is learning and reporting on industrial safety news, trends and products

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