How to Clean a Hydrocollator

By Christopher Rosenbaum

Proper maintenance of a Hydrocollator is necessary to ensure a safe and long lasting operational life of the unit. Frequent draining and cleaning of the unit will prevent the buildup of viruses, bacteria, and deposits. According to the Hydrocollator operation manual, the unit should be cleaned at least once every two weeks. Neglecting this cleaning may lead to unsanitary HotPacs and the breakdown of the Hydrocollator.


Fill bowl with 1 cup of water.

Add 2 cups of vinegar.

Mix solution with a spoon.


Unplug the Hydrocollator.

Drain the Hydrocollator by opening the drain value at the bottom rear of the unit.

Using a towel, scour the inside of the Hydrocollator with the non-abrasive cleaner and disinfectant.

Rinse with hot water.

Pour the vinegar and water solution over deposits to dissolve buildups.

Rinse with hot water.

Clean the exterior with stainless steel cleaner.

Polish the exterior with polish and a towel.


The operational manual recommends using a low abrasive bathroom cleaner, however, it is strongly recommended by Certified Athletic Trainers that a cleaner and disinfectant product, like Whizzer, should be used to prevent the spread of viruses such as MRSA.

Hard water requires more frequent unit cleaning.


Do not use cleaners with a high chloride content.

Do not clean the unit with steel wool or a metal brush.

Do not use abrasive cleaners.

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