In this guide, we will show you how to clean a pill cutter, and give you some important tips on cleaning and maintenance.
A pill cutter is a device that you are bound to use many times a day. Depending on the type of pills you take, your pill cutter might vary. The usage mechanism might also be different for different types of pills.
The problem with all these options is that there is no single cleaning method. It is always better to be safe while cleaning the pill cutter as it contains sensitive material.
Why Should You Use A Pill Cutter?
Half And Quarter Pill Prescriptions
There are often times when your doctor prescribes you some medicines that you would need to take half or quarter at a time. You may have wondered how to divide the tablets with accuracy.
Splitting pills with a knife or a scissor won’t give you the accuracy that you want to split the pills with, and that would result in varying doses of the medicine. The easiest way to cut pills in half would be to use a pill-splitter.
Sometimes, patients under the influence of medicines or older adults won’t have the best accuracy and control over their hands, which could lead to accidental cuts from the sharp knife or scissors. This is another reason why you should use a pill splitter to split tablets.
However, several tablets are time-released. Cutting them in half is not recommended as that would decrease its efficiency. Do not split a tablet in half unless your doctor has recommended it.
How Do You Use A Tablet Splitter?
Sometimes you need to take half or quarter doses of medicine, and for that, you would need to split them into two or four equal parts. You have a tablet splitter to your rescue.
A tablet splitter or a pill cutter is a small and inexpensive device that you can pick up at any drugstore. It is the easiest way you can divide your pills into halves or quarters with accuracy.
Inside a tablet splitter, there is a triangle-shaped space at the bottom. All you need to do is push the tablet as far as you can without crushing it. On the upper lid, there is a sharp blade. When you close the lid, the blade will cut the pills into two halves.
If you want quarter doses of the medicine, take one-half part of the medicine and slide it in the triangle sideways. Close the top lid, and you have yourself two-quarters of the medicine. A tablet splitter is the easiest way to cut a tablet in halves, quarters, and even eighths.
How To Clean A Pill Cutter
There are many options for pill cutters across different price ranges. A simple glance at the search results might give you an idea of what type of pill cutter you want to use. You can broadly think of Pill cutters as being of four types:
- The shape of your pill
- Size of your pill
- The size that you wish the pill cutter to split
- Multi-use pill cutters
Each pill cutter will create different kinds of debris after the pill-splitting. You have to be careful in cleaning the pill cutter between usage.
Nurses or healthcare providers maintain a log of cleaning time between their patients. It is considered one of the best practices to avoid any infection.
Do’s Of Cleaning Pill Cutters
Use Lukewarm Water For Detachable Components
Some types of pill cutters have detachable parts. Such pill cutters are cleaned by taking out the individual components. You will have to wash the pieces with warm water. It is not advisable to put the pill cutter parts in the dishwasher or expose them to boiling water.
The high temperature might melt the components. You might use some soap water to clean the parts and eliminate any leftover residue.
Use A Bristle Brush For Pill Cutters With No Detachable Parts
Pill cutters that cannot be detached might not have a straightforward way to clean them. They pose a challenge in reaching out to small spaces within the pill cutter. After cutting the pill, some crushed particles are stuck under the blade or on the surface.
You can use a small bristle brush to clean those crushed pills. If your pill cutter has an inbuilt storage space, you have to clean the entire container.
There are pill cutters that are used for crushing a pill. It creates pill powder to stay back in the pill cutter. You will have to rinse the entire unit thoroughly.
Don’ts of Cleaning Pill Cutters
Each pill cutter has a different kind of material to cut the pills. They range anywhere from sharp plastic material to double-edged stainless steel blades.
Don’t Touch The Sharp Edges.
When you are using the device or cleaning, you need to make sure not to touch these sharp edges. Some of the pill cutters have retractable parts that might harm you when you are cleaning them.
Don’t Lose The Small Parts.
While cleaning pill cutters made of small parts, you have to ensure not to lose them. Once you wash the pill cutter with water, you will have to let it dry completely. To not miss these parts, you have to make sure that you keep all the pieces in the same location.
Don’t Let Water Stagnate On The Pill Cutter.
You have to reuse the pill cutter only after it is completely dried up. Maintaining a pill cutter that has blades might be a challenge.
Don’t Use a Pill Cutter With Blunt Edges.
Repeated use of the pill cutter might dull the edge of the blades. Proper care has to be taken to keep it for a longer duration.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you open a pill cutter?
A pill cutter is a compact and simple device. Most of them are in a box shape with an upper lid that you can open to place the tablet inside.
On the upper lid, there is a fixed sharp blade that comes down on the tablet to cut it when you close the lid. The bottom part of the pill cutter has a V-shaped holder to hold the tablet securely in place as you push the blade down.
The upper lid part of the pill cutter is easy to open. All you need to do is hold the bottom part steady with one of your hands and use the other hand to open the top part carefully.
Do not insert your fingers in the pill cutter, as even a small contact with the blade can lead to a cut. Having a box shape design makes the cutter stay in place when you have opened it for placing the pill inside, which helps avoid any mishaps.
How do you clean a pill-splitter?
Cleaning a pill-splitter is necessary as while cutting any medicine, there might be some residue left in the pill cutter. Before using the pill cutter for splitting any other medicine, you should clean it thoroughly as mixing any medicine with another might cause reactions of some sort.
To clean a pill cutter, remove all the detachable parts. It allows for ease of cleaning. Take slightly warm water and liquid soap to rinse all the parts of the pill cutter thoroughly. While cleaning the part of the pill cutter with the blade, be careful not to hurt yourself.
Pill Cutters Make Your Life Simple!
A pill cutter is sometimes a necessity. You may have to take half or quarter doses of medicine, or the medicine might be too big for you to swallow. However, cutting a pill can lead to residue being left in the pill cutter.
Since it has a sharp blade inside, it can be dangerous if you try cleaning the cutter. Knowing how to clean a pill cutter correctly is important before using it to divide some other medicines.