Autoclave Policies and Procedures

Complete the Autoclave Use LogĀ before every use of the autoclave.

If the autoclave is dirty, please contact the previous user to clean the machine. DO NOT USE the autoclave until it is cleaned. Make certain the drain strainer is clean.

Place all items in a tub before autoclaving. Never place glassware or bags directly on the bottom or floor of the autoclave. Place items inside a heat resistant plastic tub that will sit on a shelf or rack. Insure tubs are not cracked.

DO NOT overfill the tubs. Nothing should hang over the edges or be tall enough to touch the top or sides of the autoclave. Overloading may lead to the center of the load not betting sterilized properly.

Place tubs in the center of the autoclave. It is important to allow the steam to circulate freely throughout the chamber.

Never autoclave a sealed container of liquid. Before loading containers of liquids into the autoclave, the caps must be loosened to avoid having the bottles shatter during pressurization or when the container is opened.

Add a half-inch of water to a tub of empty bottles that are to be autoclaved. This will allow the bottles to heat more evenly.

DO NOT pack bags too full of solid waste. Bags packed to capacity with biohazardous waste may not be properly sterilized.

Add one cup of water to each bag of solid waste and keep the bags OPEN. Polypropylene biohazard bags are impervious to steam.

DO NOT load non-autoclavable plastic materials into the autoclave. They will melt and cause damage to the autoclave.

Make sure the door of the autoclave is properly closed before starting a cycle.

Know the contents of the bags being placed in the autoclave in order to know which cycle to use. The contents of the bags need to be known.

Use the proper cycle. DO NOT use the gravity cycle for liquids and the liquid cycle for solids. The gravity cycle does not properly sterilize liquids and the liquid cycle does not properly sterilize solids. Use of the wrong cycle can also cause spillage.

DO NOT override an autoclave's built-in safety control features under any circumstance.

Avoid aborting cycles. Aborting of cycles will cause the sterilizer to jam if it happens often. A service call must be made in order to get the autoclave running again.

If necessary, clean the autoclave after use.

Close autoclave door after each use.