Top 3 Benefits of Stainless Steel Baskets for Medical Parts Washing + Use Cases

April 7, 2021 | Steel Wire Products, Marlin Steel Case Studies, Medical/Pharmaceutical

This stainless steel mesh basket has large handles for easy carrying and a tight lid to keep parts in the basket.Companies in the pharmaceutical industry have to meet stringent standards for part sanitation. Whether they’re dealing with surgical tools, medication containers, or hypodermic needles, those materials need to get thoroughly sanitized.


To ensure a thorough sanitization, baskets holding medical parts to be washed need to:

  1. Allow the cleaning medium-free access to the parts being washed.
  2. Prevent fluid buildup that could contaminate parts.
  3. Be able to withstand all process stresses (temperatures, chemical exposure, impacts, etc.).
  4. Keep parts from falling out of the basket.
  5. Fit comfortably within all processing equipment.
  6. Be easy to handle in between processes.

Top 3 Benefits of Stainless Steel Baskets for Medical Parts Washing

Marlin Steel recently created stainless steel mesh baskets with lids that were perfect for medical and pharmaceutical parts washing applications. These stainless steel parts washing baskets solve the challenges of sanitizing medical and pharmaceutical parts in three important ways:

1. Plentiful Open Space for Water and Air Flow

To enable ease of cleaning for held parts and to ensure that no runoff or debris from washing processes remain in the basket, this stainless steel mesh basket design uses a fine wire mesh to fully enclose the basket’s content on all sides.

The open space offered by the wire mesh allows air and liquids to freely pass through the basket so held parts can be washed efficiently. However, the space between wires is kept tight enough to ensure that the parts themselves cannot pass through. This is enhanced by adding a hinged wire mesh lid to the top of the basket.

2. Lids to Keep Parts in Place

By adding a hinged lid to the basket’s design, it could keep parts from falling out during harsh washing processes—even if the basket were to be flipped upside down. A latch would keep the lid secure during the wash process.

Using a lidded design like this would keep parts from falling out of the basket and into processing equipment during the wash process.

3. Handles for Easy Carrying

To make the basket easy to carry between processes, large handles were added to either side of the basket. Because the wires were so large and left so much space between the grip and the basket, they could easily be grabbed with a gloved hand. This makes the basket easy to carry for workers wearing thicker sterile gloves or even cleanroom suits.

Making a Tough Stainless Steel Parts Washing Basket

Medical parts washing and sanitation processes can be incredibly tough on a wire mesh basket. They need to completely remove any potential surface contaminants and sterilize parts with a combination of high temperatures and bactericidal chemicals—temperatures and chemicals that can damage many basket materials. Also, occasional rough motion or impact can dent a basket.

To ensure that the basket was able to take all the temperature, impact, and chemical stresses it could be exposed to, Marlin’s engineers decided to make it out of electropolished stainless steel. A stainless steel mesh basket would be able to resist temperatures of 1,700˚F (926.6˚C)—several times greater than the 250˚F (121˚C) that is necessary to sterilize medical equipment with an autoclave steam sterilization process. Plastic, on the other hand, would not be as reliably heat-resistant.

The tensile strength of steel helps to ensure that the basket can take intense pressures and impacts without bending or breaking. Additionally, the use of stainless steel alloys such as grade 304 or grade 316 SS helped to ensure that the basket would be resistant to corrosion from exposure to chemicals used in the parts washing process.

To further enhance the chemical resistance of the basket, it would be subjected to electropolishing. This process would strip the surface layer of the basket to create a microscopically-smooth stainless steel mesh basket. Because the surface of the basket is so smooth following this process, bacteria and small particulates have a difficult time finding purchase—making cleaning the basket easier.

Creating Baskets with Consistent Dimensions

One of the big challenges in creating a parts washing basket for any application is making sure the basket can fit inside whatever equipment it’s going to be used with. If a basket’s measurements deviate so much as an inch, then it might not fit properly in a piece of equipment that it should be just the right size for.

To ensure that every basket has consistent dimensions, Marlin’s manufacturing team uses advanced factory automation to assemble each and every basket. These wire bending and welding robots are capable of achieving inhuman consistency from one part to the net. Unlike human workers, they never get sick, tired, or bored. Even better, these manufacturing robots can work at speeds manual laborers can only dream of—making them incredibly fast at basic assembly tasks.

So, with manufacturing automation, Marlin Steel can assemble a high-quality custom wire basket quickly.

Producing Made-in-the-USA Quality Baskets

Products made in other countries such as China may be poorly constructed. Foreign manufacturers often cut corners to save money and offer cheaper deals, resulting in inferior products. American-made baskets like those made by Marlin Steel offer reliability, consistent quality, and faster shipping speeds. In addition, they are covered by American laws (if you get a substandard product from a foreign company, you may be denied a refund and there’s little you can do about it). American-made products are also held to a higher safety standard, helping to ensure safety for your employees. Plus, buying American supports the economy, and that’s just a good feeling to have!

Use Cases for Stainless Steel Baskets for Medical Parts Washing

When customers come to Marlin Steel for in-stock or custom-made products, they know they’re getting the best baskets on the market! We recently helped out two different customers who needed custom metal baskets with lids.

The first customer was an S&P100 medical device products manufacturer. The company needed a wire basket with a lid to hold their products while it was submerged in a tank and heated in an oven to remove any water marks, contaminants, and residue. They also wanted a lid that would fit snug enough against the basket to ensure parts would stay in place during the cleaning process.

Our team of engineers and robots got to work and created a stainless steel 316 electropolished basket with a tight-fitting lid to meet the customer’s needs. 

Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 2.34.52 PM

Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 2.44.36 PMThe second customer was a medical research company. The company needed custom stainless steel baskets for washing medical cassettes (cartridges for holding medical tools and specimen samples). These cassettes needed to be completely sterile since they held samples of skin, cancer cells, treatment cells, etc. This meant the washing process was particularly harsh, using strong disinfectants, high temperatures, and rough agitation.

Our team of engineers and robots got to work and created an electropolished, stainless steel basket with a heavy steel lid that could withstand the cleaning process, hold parts in place, and prevent debris from sticking to the basket. Read more about this custom project here.

Shop Marlin Steel's Baskets with Lids and Handles

Need a steel mesh basket for your own pharmaceutical or medical parts washing application? Check out Marlin Steel’s durable, high-quality custom stainless steel parts washing baskets ready-to-ship from our Baltimore, Maryland factory:

Need something different? You can also contact Marlin Steel and request a custom basket quote. We're happy to help you meet your needs!