To ensure successful steam sterilization of your plastic labware please adhere to the following guideline: Autoclave all plastic consumables at 121°C for 20 minutes, 15psi/1 atm. Do not use a dry cycle as this may cause deformation or weakening of the plastic. Allow temperature within the autoclave to return to at least 80°C before removing product.
Autoclaving (steam sterilisation) is defined as the destruction or irreversible inactivation of all reproducible microorganisms under exposure to“saturated steam at a minimum of 120 °C.” (DIN 58946-1, 1987). DIN EN 285 specifies a minimum exposure time (te) of 20 minutes (killing time and safety margin) at a sterilisation temperature of 121 °C. For the correct sterilisation procedure, including biological safety (DIN EN285), please contact your hygiene specialist.
Prior to autoclaving plastic labware, ensure that no soiling or residual contamination remains on the equipment.Otherwise, the residual contamination will bake on solidly during the autoclaving process. Even substances that have no effect on the plastic at room temperature can still lead to destruction of the plastic during the autoclaving process. Additionally, microorganisms might not be killed effectively if they are protected by the residual contamination.
Notes On Autoclaving
- Container with screw tops or stoppers must be open during autoclaving to allow for presure equalisation.
- Autoclaving of a closed container will lead to the deformation or destruction of the container.
- Plastic labware should be stood upright on a level surface during autoclaving to avoid shape deformation.
- Plastic labware should not be laid on its side during autoclaving.
- No mechanical stresses should be present during autoclaving.
- For example, do not stack items.
- Do not autoclave any container that contains residual contamination or even rinsing agent.
- Not all plastics are resistant to steam sterilisation! For example, polycarbonate loses its tensile strength.
- Mind the temprature limits for the plastics.
- Autoclavable products are identified with a “121 °C” symbol in this catalogue.
The surfaces of some plastics can be attacked by chemicals present during autoclaving, which can cause persistent clouding. Some transparent plastics can absorb minute quantities of steam, which can lead to reversible clouding. This clouding disappears upon drying, which can be accelerated through the use of a drying oven.