How to properly clean and use your autoclave?

TOMY autoclaves, also known as steam sterilizers, are a piece of equipment designed to disinfect and sterilize laboratory apparatus and biohazard waste through the application of highly saturated steam. This instrument is  frequently used in laboratories, medical facilities, industrial settings, and other places to eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Thus, autoclave must be maintained and appropriately clean to ensure the equipment’s efficiency and longevity.

Routinely rinse and change the water inside the chamber

After a complete sterilization cycle, the water inside the chamber will have impurities that may contain high salt or chemical content chemicals. This impurity will be calcified and deposited onto the autoclave heating element, causing slow autoclave heating and corrosion, which is the reason for the heater element replacement. This problem can be resolve by changing the water inside the chamber daily along with rinsing the water to prevent any accumulation of the impurities. In addition, it is also advisable to fill the autoclave chamber with 1/10 deionized water with the tap water to prevent corrosion and deposition of impurities such as lime and salt from the tap water onto the heating element.

Cleaning of the autoclave chamber

The autoclave chamber will get dirty over time due to the spilled agar or leaking from the biohazard waste bags. Thus, the autoclave chamber should be cleaned once a week using mild detergent and a soft cloth to maintain the autoclave hygiene and eliminate any dirt that may reduce the autoclave performance and longevity.

Prevent overboiling

Overboiling of media is usually caused by overfilling the Scott Duran Bottle with media or not using liquid sterilization mode when autoclaving media. These situations will cause the media to be spilled over the internal chamber of the autoclave and eventually cause burning into the heating element and clogging the draining tube. To rectify this problem, it is good practice to fill the liquid media only 80% of the glass bottle capacity and use liquid sterilization mode to allow for stable pressure between the internal chamber and environment, preventing the liquid media from overspill. Furthermore, another good alternative that can be applied to avoid the overboiling problem is by using the autoclave plastics bag and solid bottom basket.

Blank runs after changing the water

Running an autoclave with blank runs after changing the water or every week will ensure the autoclave sterilization integrity and efficiency. It is advisable to run a blank run between the sterilization and autoclave waste cycles to maintain autoclave hygiene. Enhance you autoclave maintenance by exploring these 9 essential tips for a healthy autoclave!

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