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How long should surgical instruments soak?
Recommended procedures for manual cleaning are to first soak the instrument in a tepid or lukewarm water or detergent bath for at least 10 minutes, preferably until all soil on the instrument is softened. 
Surgical instruments must always soak in neutral pH cleaning products. 

This is especially important when cleaning eye surgical instruments. Neutral pH, free-rinsing Surgical Instrument Pre Wash Cleaners are designed to provide critically clean Surgical Instruments with a residue free surface. This is especially important when cleaning eye surgical instruments. Foaming Surgical Instrument Cleaners create a thick layer of foam on the surface of surgical instruments but once applied the Surgical Instrument Cleaners are non-foaming. Although foaming is valuable for hydrating debris and preventing encrustation on soiled eye surgical instruments foaming during the cleaning process is detrimental to the cleaning process and can present a risk to workers. This is especially important with Ultrasonic Cleaners and Automated Eye Surgical Instrument Washers. Surgical Instrument Cleaners without "foam control" require excessive rinsing. Residual foam can cause unwanted residue to be retained on the surface of the surgical instrument. Surgical Instrument Pre Wash Cleaner Presoaking with neutral pH enzymatic detergent Surgical Instrument Pre Wash Cleaners will effectively remove debris and has proven to be an acceptable alternative to manually cleaning surgical instruments
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