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Autoclave Usage

Autoclave Operating Procedures

Place all material to be autoclaved in a autoclavable tray. All items should have indicator tape. Separate liquids from solids and autoclave separately. Make sure lids on all bottle are loose. Do not crowd large number of items in tray- in order for all items to reach the appropriate temperature, one must allow sufficient air/steam circulation.

Make sure chamber pressure is at 0 before opening the door.
Place items to be autoclaved in the autoclave and close the door. Some autoclaves require that you also lock the door after it’s closed.
Set time – typically 20 minutes.
Temperature should be set at 121 deg C already, but double-check and change if necessary.
Set cycle: If liquid, set “liquid cycle” or “slow exhaust”. If dry, set “dry cycle” or “fast exhaust” + dry time.
Start the cycle. On some autoclaves, the cycle starts automatically at step 5. On others, turn to “sterilize”.
At the end of the cycle, check that: a. the chamber pressure is at 0; b. the temp is Open door.
Remove contents using gloves and immediately tighten all caps.


Waste disposal

All biohazardous waste must be autoclaved prior to disposal. Biohazardous waste must be segregated from regular trash in a red or orange biohazard bag. when full, seal the bag loosely with autoclave tape and sterilize  using the wrapped setting on  the autoclave. Make sure you sign the autoclave usage log which is found next to the unit. After your waste has been sterilized, allow to cool and place into a heavy duty, black,  3 mil contractor bag for disposal. Do not overfill the black bags, they need to be handled several times before they are finally disposed of. Every time they are moved is a potential for injury if the bag is too heavy. Place the bag into the hallway for disposal by the evening cleaning crew.