Red-Bag Waste Autoclave Procedure

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.  Following this three-step autoclave procedure will result in reliable sterilization of “red bag” waste.  (Assuming that you aren’t running a BSL3 facility or disposing of animal carcasses.) Red Bag Waste Autoclave Procedure First things first, the DON’Ts: DON’T toss loose tips and pipettes into your biohazard … Continue reading “Red-Bag Waste Autoclave Procedure”

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”

We Need Sustainable Labs for Sustainable Research

The global consensus on climate change has grown increasingly dire.  Nonetheless, a shocking  percentage of “sustainable research” is done in labs that do not operate in an environmentally sustainable manner. According to recent figures, the average research lab consumes five to eight times more energy than a typical office space of the same size.  Labs … Continue reading “We Need Sustainable Labs for Sustainable Research”

Bad Benchtop Autoclave Installations

  Sometimes a bad benchtop autoclave installation is pretty straightforward: That drain valve looks pretty good—it’s taped, they’ve used a quality ball valve (which is much more reliable over the long term than a standard gate valve). But we sure hope no one left their car keys or phone in that drawer. Now, such SNAFUs … Continue reading “Bad Benchtop Autoclave Installations”

Lab Autoclave Procedure Best Practices: The Futility of Foil

There are many justifications for crimping foil loosely over the mouths of containers before autoclaving. The most common—and seemingly most reasonable—is that this common autoclave procedure keeps viable spores from drifting onto the sterilized items. That seems to make sense: If I want to keep dust off the the sofa stored in my garage, I … Continue reading “Lab Autoclave Procedure Best Practices: The Futility of Foil”

*Gobble gobble!*🦃

Being headquartered in the American Midwest, we’re taking the day off. To all of our U.S. customers, have a happy, restful, and well-fed Thanksgiving—and to all of our customers worldwide, we’ll see you all bright and early tomorrow! Need a last-minute recipe? We’ve got you covered!  🦃🍗