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Autoclaves: The Questions You Want Answered

Autoclaves: The Questions You Want Answered

Did you know that autoclaves play an important role in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria? Autoclaves make this possible by sterilizing equipment and supplies. They sterilize equipment by applying a high pressure steam to the equipment. This type of sterilization equipment is used across several different industries including microbiology and medicine. For example, autoclaves are heavily used in hospitals, especially by surgeons. Surgical tools such as forceps and scalpels are used during surgical procedures and need to be sterilized frequently. Autoclaves simplify the sterilization process for surgeons and help to ensure that all of the surgical tools are completely sterilized.

So what should you know about autoclaves? We have come up with several popular questions that are often asked and provided you with the answers.

1. What should I set the autoclave’s temperature and time to for sterilization?

The standard time and temperature is usually 121 degrees Celsius and for 15 to 20 minutes. The time and temperature can vary depending on the size and content of the load. It may be necessary to consult with the autoclave’s manufacturer on these settings.

2. What types of autoclaves are there?

Autoclaves are broken down into bench top and floor models. Bench top autoclaves are ideal for laboratories that are short on space. Although, the bench top models are unable to handle the capacity that the floor models offer. Floor model autoclaves are free standing and are either loaded from the top or the front of the machine.

3. Are there any considerations I should think about before purchasing an autoclave?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that you should think about application and floor space. You need to think about what you are going to be using the autoclave for. Autoclaves come in different sizes and have a variety of capacities. So, if you are planning on sterilizing a large volume of equipment daily, you may want to look at purchasing a floor model autoclave because of their larger capacity over a bench top model.


Space is also an important factor. If you have the space, a floor model may be the best for you. With the floor models, you should also think about whether it is more beneficial to have a front loading or a top loading machine. If you often sterilize heavy flasks or equipment, having a top loading machine may make it difficult to easily load and unload equipment. On the other hand, front loaders tend to take up more floor space since the autoclave’s door opens outwards.


And always remember that you want to make sure you do not place too much equipment in the autoclave at one time. This could result in some of the equipment not being completely sterilized.


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