prestant group of manikins

How to Clean a CPR Manikin

Terry BrownFeb 18, '24

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) manikins are invaluable tools for training individuals in life-saving techniques. They allow students to practice chest compressions and rescue breaths in a realistic environment. However, like any medical equipment, Prestan CPR manikins require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they remain effective and safe for use. 

The Importance of Cleaning CPR Manikins Properly

Cleaning manikins properly is essential for a few key reasons.


This is the most obvious benefit to a proper, thorough cleaning routine; it's also the most important one. Prestan manikins, like any CPR manikins, are shared by multiple students during training sessions. Without proper cleaning, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses, potentially spreading infections.

Realism and Effectiveness

The more realistic the CPR manikin feels and behaves, the better it is for students. They can benefit from a more lifelike experience to prepare them better for a real emergency. Proper cleaning ensures that the Prestan manikin's surfaces remain free from dirt and contaminants that impact how the manikin works and affect how lifelike it is. 

CPR Manikin Longevity

Regular cleaning and maintenance extend the lifespan of the Prestan CPR manikins. Cleaning them properly prevents damage from chemicals and dirt. Keeping them in good condition reduces the need for frequent replacements, saving both time and money for instructors and organizations. 

When to Clean and Disinfect Prestan Manikins

Manikins should be cleaned and sanitized after every training session. This ensures that they are always ready for the next group of students and helps maintain a clean and safe training environment. If multiple students will be using one manikin, thoroughly clean and disinfect the manikin face with manikin wipes after each use. If a manikin becomes visibly soiled by sweat, saliva, makeup, or other contaminants during training, it should be cleaned immediately.

Even if a manikin appears clean, it is recommended to perform a more thorough cleaning at regular intervals, such as monthly or quarterly. This routine maintenance helps prevent the accumulation of unseen contaminants and maintains the manikin's overall hygiene.

How to Clean and Disinfect CPR Manikins: Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

Following the right steps when cleaning a Prestan manikin helps ensure it is cleaned thoroughly and properly.

Surface Wipe-Down

Start by wiping down all external surfaces of the manikin with a damp cloth or disposable disinfectant wipes. Pay special attention to the face, chest, and any other areas that come into direct contact with students.

Disassemble and Clean Internally

For more thorough cleaning, it's essential to disassemble the CPR manikin per manufacturer's instructions. This typically involves removing the face shield and lung bags, as well as other removable parts. Most CPR manikins have removable face shields and lung bags. Disassemble the manikin and clean manikin parts separately by soaking in warm, soapy water and allowing them to air dry. Inspect and replace any damaged parts.

This soaking step helps to clean hard-to-reach areas and remove any residue that may have accumulated over time. Rinse the disassembled components thoroughly and allow them to air dry before reassembling the manikin.

Sanitize and Disinfect

Use disinfectant solution recommended by the manufacturer and thoroughly disinfect all surfaces, paying attention to high-touch areas. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the appropriate disinfectant, contact time, as well as any safety precautions for the chemical used.

Some common solutions that are used to clean manikins include 70% isopropyl alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds, a 1:10 bleach solution, or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, but again, confirm whether a solution is recommended or acceptable by the specific manufacturer, such as Prestan, before using. Also, be sure you are using the right concentration, or you may damage the manikin.


CPR manikins with moving parts, such as the chest compression mechanism, may require lubrication. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for proper lubrication to maintain functionality.


Storage is just as important as the other steps, as failing to store a manikin properly can result in it getting dirty again or damaged. Put the cleaned and disinfected manikin in a clean and dry environment, protected from dust and potential contamination, until it is ready to be used again.

Safety Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Prior to cleaning a CPR manikin, it's important to take appropriate safety precautions. Wear personal protective equipment, including disposable gloves, goggles, and coveralls or an apron. These precautions help prevent contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and protect against splashes and contact with cleaning chemicals. Make sure the cleaning area is well-ventilated to avoid breathing in cleaning chemicals and disinfectants. Follow the manufacturer's safety recommendations for handling any specific disinfectants or cleaning agents to ensure you are using them safely.


Maintaining and cleaning CPR manikins is essential, but there are some common cleaning mistakes that should be avoided to prevent damage.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaning agents, as they can damage the manikin's surfaces. Stick to mild soaps and approved disinfectants that are recommended by the manufacturer.

Don't Submerge the Entire Manikin

Avoid submerging the entire manikin in water or any cleaning solution. This can damage internal components, electronics, and other parts. It can lead to issues like rotting and mould growth, and chemical residues accumulating in certain parts.

Don't Overuse Lubricants

While lubrication is essential for some parts, avoid over-lubricating. Excess lubricant can attract dirt and dust, affect how well the manikin works, and can damage it.

Handle Manikins Gently

Avoid rough handling of the manikin, and never use excessive force during the cleaning process. This can damage sensitive components, such as the chest compression mechanism.

Read the Manufacturer's Guidelines

Always check the manufacturer's specific cleaning and maintenance guidelines before starting to clean. Even if you have cleaned manikins before, if you get a new one, you should still take the time to read the instructions. A CPR manikin may have unique instructions that, if not followed, could ruin the manikin, cause it to not work as well, or start to deteriorate prematurely.

prestan manikin set

Repairing or Replacing Manikins

Cleaning and maintaining CPR manikins properly is essential to protect both students and the manikin itself. If a manikin is damaged or deteriorating in any way, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.

SOS Technologies offers high-quality Prestan manikin products, including infant, child, and adult manikins, liquid skin repair products, replacement parts, and more. We can guide you on how to properly care for your manikins, to ensure you get the most out of them, for many years of safe usage. For those organizations that would prefer not to have the added responsibility of caring for and maintaining manikins, as well as providing their own first aid and CPR training, we provide high quality training, so you don't need to worry about these practicalities.