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”

Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Sealed Bottles are Bombs

In August of 2001 a research lab autoclave was processing tightly capped 178 bottles using a 30-minute liquid load.  The autoclave began making unusual sounds, so a trio of lab workers aborted the cycle and investigated.  They opened the autoclave to discover a few bottles had burst.  There was some lost liquid and a lot … Continue reading “Research Lab Autoclave Safety: Sealed Bottles are Bombs”

Another Win for Sustainable (and Affordable) Research Lab Design

It’s been a great year for our friends at My Green Lab and their ACT Label!  The ACT Label provides lab managers others involved in research lab design and procurement with critical specifics about the environmental impact of laboratory products, as well as an easy-to-compare numerical summary, the “Environmental Impact Factor” (a lower EIF number means … Continue reading “Another Win for Sustainable (and Affordable) Research Lab Design”

We Regret to Inform You that there are No “Typical” Sterilizer Cycle Times

Lab managers are often frustrated to learn that there are no “typical” cycle times for autoclaves. It’s not that we’re being coy: There are an enormous number of variables that come into play, from the density of the load to optional autoclave features to local statutes to how you loaded the device. The good news is that, once … Continue reading “We Regret to Inform You that there are No “Typical” Sterilizer Cycle Times”