Please read this if you happen to be a diabetic and use the One Touch Basic Blood Glucose Meter.

When I received this fine tool, I was told to clean the test area regularly with a damp cloth. While this information is essentially correct, it is incomplete.

My meter has appeared broke for several days now, so I missed several tests. Here is what happened:

After turning it on, everything went on as usual. It gave me the last result from the memory, and told me to insert the test strip. However, after inserting the strip, it gave me the Clean test area message.

This was confusing. I thought, surely something must be wrong. I have cleaned the test area. I thought perhaps the battery was going weak. I tested it with a voltmeter. It read about 8 V, which is good (it is supposed to be a 6 V battery).

I tried cleaning it over and over. I tried different test strips. No go.

Finally, I called the manufacturer (Lifescan). It turned out I was not cleaning the test area the right way after all. The gray plastic piece to which you insert the test strip is removable. No one had ever mentioned that to me, and it is not obvious. (I received the meter from our local hospital and it was a used model with no instruction booklet.)

Here then is the proper way of cleaning the test area:

  • Remove the gray plastic piece to which you normally insert the test strip. Wash it under warm running water. Dry.
  • Clean the black test area, that will now be uncovered, with a piece of cloth (damp if needed). Dry.
  • After everything is completely dry, replace the gray plastic piece.

Do this once a week and every time the Clean Test Area message pops up. If you need further assistance, call 1-800-227-8862 in the US, or 1-800-663-5521 in Canada (these are the only two numbers I have available, I do not know the numbers for other countries). These people are very helpful!

Having done that, I now have a fully functional blood glucose meter again.

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