Autoclave Procedure for Pipette Tips

The autoclave procedure for pipette tips is a little more involved than other red bag waste. Why? Because pipette tips are pokey: They like to poke through bags and into people.  Even if your pipette tips themselves aren’t contaminated, they are a super-duper good vector for dangerous pathogens.  They’re also great at making sure goop … Continue reading “Autoclave Procedure for Pipette Tips”

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”

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”

Autoclave Sterilization Tips: Abandon All Foil, Ye Who Pass This Way!

We need to talk about your autoclave sterilization rituals and aluminum foil. Specifically: Do not use aluminum foil when sterilizing empty beakers and flasks! Loosely crimping foil over the mouths of empty flasks prior to autoclaving them is a widespread practice in many research labs.  Justifications for this practice vary.  Some claim it keeps water … Continue reading “Autoclave Sterilization Tips: Abandon All Foil, Ye Who Pass This Way!”

Research Lab Autoclave Best Practices: The Liquid Cycle Won’t Save You

Every modern research lab autoclave has a “liquid cycle”—a cycle just for processing liquids, growth media, and so on.  Nonetheless, more often than not, if you fill a bunch of 1L bottles up to 900mL and process them on the “liquid cycle” they’re going to come out like this: The glass isn’t cracked; where did … Continue reading “Research Lab Autoclave Best Practices: The Liquid Cycle Won’t Save You”