The purpose of packaging cleanroom (sometime incorrectly written as clean room) garments is to maintain the garment integrity from the time the cleanroom laundry processes the garment to the time the end user is gowning up. Cleanroom clothing is usually stored in a change area, individually packaged in plastic bags, and stored by size in bins or employee lockers, until the employeeputs the garment on. From the time the garment leaves the cleanroom laundry to the time a person dons the bunnysuit and steps on the sticky mat into their cleanroom, it will have traveled many days and many miles, sometimes on many trucks. The package containing the garments might be stored in several environments and come across many potential contaminants. How do you make certain the garment integrity is maintained over that time period?
The garments that are processed in a cleanroom laundry should be tripled packaged in the laundry’s cleanroom environment. At Tri State, each garment is bagged in a high grade, low particulate plastic bag. The bag is hermetically sealed to assure no outside air can get in it until the seal is broken. A number of these individual bags are then placed in a secondary bag. Then a couple of these bags are placed in a tertiary bag. The content of the bag is noted, usually with the kind of garment, size and quantity. Now this final bag is ready to leave the Class 10 (ISO4) environment of the cleanroom laudnry. It is helpful to the end user if the content is all coveralls, all hoods or all boots. This way the bag can be stored somewhere outside the end users change area until that item is needed.
Remember, the outside bag has been in contact with many environments in its travels. When the person responsible for maintaining the change area and its inventories is ready to bring the garments into the change area, they first remove that outer bag outside the change area environment. They can then bring the secondary bag into the change area (if you recall the outside of this bag was only exposed to the cleanroom laundry’s Class 10 environment). Therefore no unnecessary contaminants are brought into the change area and there is no need for the person to wipe down the outside of the bag. The person then removes the secondary bag, and places the primary garment bags in the bins or lockers. The garments remain in their primary bags until a person is ready to wear them.
If garments are hung between uses, they should be hung in the change area “downwind” from where the clean garments are stored. The most likely spot is nearest the outer door. The cleanest air in the change area should be reserved for the cleanest items stored in the change room, including the packaged garments, wipers, swabs, and other consumable items.