Autoclaving Big Beakers and Flasks? Use the Vacuum Function!

If you’re regularly autoclaving large Erlenmeyer flasks, graduated cylinders, or beakers—and it’s not practical to run the entire load lying horizontally—a vacuum function is vital to your consistent success. Why Autoclaving Containers is a Hard Autoclaving any container is inherently challenging—even when that container is open.  Why?  Dense cold air tends to pool at the … Continue reading “Autoclaving Big Beakers and Flasks? Use the Vacuum Function!”

This No-Cost Lab Autoclave Procedure Tweak Significantly Improves Sterilization

We’ve spoken at length about the follies of foil, and regularly help customers kit out autoclaves precisely suited to their specific tasks.  But there is one thing that any lab can do at no cost— TODAY!—that will massively boost the effectiveness of their steam sterilizer: Autoclave large beakers, flasks, and cylinders on their sides—especially Erlenmeyer … Continue reading “This No-Cost Lab Autoclave Procedure Tweak Significantly Improves Sterilization”

Laboratory Autoclave Procedure Warning: Do You Account for “Thermal Inertia”?

Many labs don’t heat large liquid loads long enough to assure sterilization. The standard autoclave procedure is “hold a load at 121ºC for 20 minutes to assure sterilization.”  This is endorsed by everyone, from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention and Food & Drug Administration, to the Department of Health & Human Services and every university on … Continue reading “Laboratory Autoclave Procedure Warning: Do You Account for “Thermal Inertia”?”

Lab Autoclave Function Primer: Intro to Air Ballast Systems

In general, autoclaving sealed flasks is a very, very bad practice.  But that isn’t to say it’s impossible.  If you need to sterilize sealed containers, then you need to make sure you have a special autoclave function to do it safely: an “air ballast” system. What’s an “Air Ballast” Autoclave Function? All steam autoclaves use … Continue reading “Lab Autoclave Function Primer: Intro to Air Ballast Systems”

The Number One Contaminant in Your Research Lab

There can be a fine line separating good research lab practice and voodoo compulsions. (“Loosely crimping” foil around the mouths of flasks and beakers prior to sterilization is a perfect example.)  But the core problem is one of assumptions.  Specifically, assumptions about the primary sources of contaminants in the lab. “One of the reasons that … Continue reading “The Number One Contaminant in Your Research Lab”