Cleanroom Gowning Procedures

More times than not, cleanroom contaminants come from lab personnel. That is why it is important to follow cleanroom gown procedures.

More times than not, cleanroom contaminants come from lab personnel. That is why it is important to follow cleanroom gowning procedures. By gowning up the right way, you can reduce the risk of bring contaminants into the cleanroom. As always follow the donning and doffing procedures that applies to your specific lab standard.

Depending on the classification of your cleanroom, you may have different equipment and protocols you should follow. In general, a cleanroom classified as ISO 6, ISO 5 or cleaner will require coveralls.

Before arriving to the cleanroom, you should be sure to clean yourself at home. This includes general hygiene procedures like showering and brushing teeth. Be sure to remove makeup if necessary. Also avoid applying sprays, moisturizer, or other products to the skin.

Before Entering The Gowning Area

It is important to keep in mind that you want to prevent dirty surfaces from coming into contact with clean surfaces. You want to ensure gowning materials don’t come into contact with dirty hands, dirty feet, the floor, walls or other potentially contaminated surfaces.

Begin by cleaning your hands from fingertip to elbow. Next clean street shoes. This may involve sticky mats, shoe brushes or other forms of shoe cleaning. Once cleaned, put on shoe covers. Next remove and store all items that are not required in the cleanroom space. This includes personal items like keys, jewelry and electronics. Put on a hair cover or bouffant and if facial hair is present a beard cover should be worn as well. Safety glasses may also be put on at this stage. Next remove street clothes and put on a scrub top and scrub bottom.

Finally, ensure hygienic hands before beginning the gowning procedure. You can do this by washing thoroughly with soap and water or by using an alcohol based antiseptic hand rub. Next pull surgically clean gloves out of the box touching only the wrist area of the glove. Slide the glove over one hand and repeat for the other hand. With sterile gloves, you now are ready to begin working with the gowning material.

Cleanroom Gowning Procedures

Gowning rooms with have a gowned side (clean side) and an ungowned side (dirty side). Be sure to begin the gowning process on the ungowned side of the room. It is best to handle all gowning garments by there inside surfaces when possible, to prevent the chance for contamination. Between each step it is good practice to wash gloves with isopropyl alcohol. To start, work your way from the top to the bottom.

Note: gowning procedures vary and may go from bottom-up or use an inside-out procedure not covered here.

  • Put on the hood first and ensure it lays flat over shoulders.
  • Attach the face mask and ensure it is pulled snugly against your face.
  • Put on coveralls and tuck hood inside the coveralls before zipping shut.
  • Put on boots. Be sure the bottom of the sterile boot does not come into contact with the ungowned side of the room. Instead, swing the foot to the clean side of the room after the boot is pulled on. Then repeat the process with the second foot.
  • Now you are ready to put on googles or a shield. If using goggles, ensure they are snug and leave no gaps.
  • Finally, you will put on another layer of gloves to ensure a sterile outer layer.

Important Note: both booties and gloves should overlap the coveralls.

Two clean room technicians in gowns monitoring a production line

Now that gowning is complete perform a self-check to ensure you did not miss anything. Be sure when entering the cleanroom door to use a shoulder, forearm or hip to open. This will prevent sterile gloves from coming into contact with the outer door surface. By following these steps you can prevent contamination from entering the cleanroom.

We Can Help

We commonly work with many industries to certify clean rooms and ensure the safety of the lab environment. Pharmaceutical companies, food processing companies, medical facilities, and collegiate labs commonly employ our services. Give the Balcon team a call today at (712)-309-3680, contact us on our website or email us at