Like changing the oil in your car, nothing could be more important than a regular cleaning regiment for your autoclave. Using distilled water is a great idea, but it's just not enough. After repeated use the autoclave will form a build up of scale, water deposits, oxides and other deposits.
It is important to use the correct cleaner recommended by the manufacturer of your particular autoclave or damage could occur. The chemical make up of the cleaning solutions vary based on the materials chosen by the manufacturers of the autoclave sterilizer. For example, the Midmark and Pelton Crane sterilizer cleaners are an alkaline base, while the Tuttnauer cleaner has an acid base. Different types of non-ionic surfactants, phosphate esters and acids are also part of the equation used to manufacture the cleaners, all of which have their own affect on the materials in which they come in contact.