How to Clean Thermometer — the Most Convenient Ways

How to Clean Thermometer -- the Most Convenient Ways

A crucial tool for home health care is your thermometer. Whether you are dealing with a cold, the flu, or even COVID, it’s important to have this trusty tool at the ready. To avoid spreading viruses, you must, however, keep the thermometer clean.

How to clean a thermometer depends on the type of thermometer you’re using. Regardless of the type, however, cleaning and disinfecting is usually quite simple and you probably already have the supplies in your pantry. You can learn more about how to clean thermometers and other useful information from this article.

How to Clean Thermometer -- the Most Convenient Ways

How to Disinfect a Digital Thermometer

A digital thermometer is among the most widely available thermometers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning these is fairly straightforward. To avoid damaging the electronics, you must always avoid immersing a digital thermometer in any liquid when cleaning it. Replace it with one of these strategies.

Use Alcohol to Disinfect

You will need:

  • 60% to 90% rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls or pads
  • Alternatively, an alcohol wipe
  • Microfiber towel
  • Clean water
  • Clean paper towel


  1. Utilize the microfiber towel to clean the digital display.
  2. Utilize an alcohol wipe or dip the cotton ball or pad in alcohol, squeezing out some of the excess.
  3. Avoiding the digital display, wipe down the rest of the thermometer, paying special attention to the tip.
  4. Use a cotton ball dipped in clean water to wipe the alcohol away.
  5. Use right away, then perform the disinfection procedure once more, omitting the alcohol wipe step this time.
  6. Before putting the thermometer back in its case, let it air dry on a fresh piece of paper.

Use Soap and Water to Disinfect

You will need:

  • A microfiber towel
  • Dish soap
  • Cotton ball or pad
  • Clean water
  • Clean paper towel


  1. With the microfiber towel, clean the digital display.
  2. Combine soap and water.
  3. Immerse a cotton ball in water.
  4. Squeeze out the extra liquid, then wipe the thermometer down, paying close attention to the tip.
  5. Wet the cotton ball in the cool water, squeeze out the excess, and wipe way the soap.
  6. With a clean cloth, dry it off.
  7. Use the thermometer right away, and then repeat the cleaning and sanitizing steps.
  8. Prior to storing the thermometer, allow it to air dry on a fresh piece of paper.

How to Clean a Rectal Thermometer

To take a baby’s temperature, a rectal thermometer is typically used, and it needs to be cleaned both before and after each use. Use the next cleaning technique on a glass or digital thermometer, but be careful not to submerge the thermometer’s entire body in water.

You’ll need:

  • Soap and cool water
  • 60% to 90% rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels


  1. Before using, dip the cotton ball into the alcohol, wring out the extra, and thoroughly wipe the thermometer’s tip.
  2. To take the child’s temperature, wait a few seconds for the alcohol to evaporate, and insert the tip no deeper than an inch.
  3. After that, wash the tip with soap and water to get rid of any feces.
  4. Follow up with a final swabbing with alcohol, and then let the thermometer air dry on a clean paper towel before storing it away.
How to Clean Thermometer -- the Most Convenient Ways

How to Clean a Digital Ear Thermometer

Digital ear thermometer probes come into contact with ear wax and germs. Regular cleaning is crucial because this can not only turn into a source of infection but also affect the thermometer’s accuracy.

You will need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • 60% to 90% rubbing alcohol
  • A clean microfiber cloth


  1. Wet a swab with alcohol, and gently clean the thermometer’s lens and probe first.
  2. When cleaning the lens, exercise caution.
  3. Clean the remaining parts of the thermometer with a fresh swab that has been dipped in alcohol.
  4. Wipe the body of the thermometer with the microfiber cloth.
  5. Repeat the cleaning procedure after using the thermometer.
  6. Once the device has dried, keep it in a secure location.
  7. Make sure to clean the thermometer’s accessories in the same manner as well.

How to Clean a Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer

When used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, non-contact forehead thermometers do not expose users to the same level of germs as contact thermometers do. Cleaning is still a good idea to keep the thermometer operating as it should even though disinfecting is typically not required.

You will need:

  • Cotton swab
  • Cotton pad or paper towel
  • 60% to 90% rubbing alcohol


  1. Dip the swab in alcohol.
  2. Wipe the lens in the probe with caution.
  3. The remainder of the thermometer should be cleaned by rubbing a cotton pad or paper towel with a little alcohol.
  4. Give the thermometer a few moments for the alcohol to evaporate, and then it’s ready to use.

Every two weeks, the lens should be cleaned in this way, according to recommendation. Because they might leave a film on the lens that prevents the thermometer from functioning properly, do not clean the lens with bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.

Tips for Cleaning a Thermometer

Boiling or microwaving a clinical thermometer is not one of the recommended disinfecting techniques. Holding just the tip of a digital clinical thermometer in boiling water could allow steam to enter, obstruct the display, and harm the electronics. The extreme heat produced by boiling can shatter a glass clinical thermometer. In a similar vein, microwaving can seriously harm a digital thermometer’s battery in addition to ruining a thermometer due to the intense heat.

Taking a temperature only takes a few minutes, but if you take the time to clean and disinfect your thermometer before each use, the process will take longer. To kill bacteria and viruses like SARS and COVID-19, however, it is imperative that you do it. As a result, consider your time and effort to be an investment in the health and safety of your family.


A thermometer needs to be cleaned both before and after use. A completely clean thermometer aids in limiting the potential spread of any bacteria or viruses that a sick person may be carrying.

Since alcohol wipes won’t completely remove the dirt, washing thermometers with liquid soap and water is the best way to get them clean. You now understand the skills required to clean a thermometer. Apply and try!


Can I Clean a Thermometer With Boiling Water?

You can immerse the thermometer stem for at least 30 seconds in boiling water. Since water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and harmful bacteria will perish at a temperature of 171 degrees, you should be fine. 2. The stem can also be cleaned with a sanitizing solution that is safe for food.

Can I Use Hand Sanitizer to Clean Thermometer?

Even though it’s not ideal, Dr. In an emergency, a thermometer can be cleaned with hand sanitizers or disinfecting wipes, according to Sherman. “While hand sanitizer often does the job, not all hand sanitizers contain at least 70-percent alcohol, which is the official recommendation for disinfecting thermometers,” he explains.

Why is a Thermometer Washed With Tap Water before Use?

Thermometers should be cleaned before and after use with an antiseptic solution to prevent the spread of germs from one person to another.

How Do You Clean a Mercury Thermometer After Use?

Mercury and sulfuric acid can be bound. To remove the sulfur and mercury, first wipe with a paper towel that has been dampened with water. Then, use another paper towel that has been dampened. Utilize a plastic bag with a zipper to contain the used paper towels.