Autoclaving facility/service

The Biomedicum autoclaving service can be used if you want to sterilize equipment or products prior to use in an experiment, or if you want to render items non-infectious prior to disposal; i.e. autoclave waste.

Guidelines

The Biomedicum autoclaving service can be used if you want to sterilize equipment or products prior to use in an experiment, or if you want to render items non-infectious prior to disposal; i.e. autoclave waste.

For sterilization, please see section “Sterilization of materials and liquids”.

For autoclaving waste and/or for autoclaving contaminated materials or glass, please see section “Contaminated materials or glass for autoclaving and dishwashing” or “Waste to be autoclaved”.

Standard Autoclave programs
Liquids 121°C, approx. 20 min sterilization
Liquids 121°C, approx. 20 min sterilization
Solids 121°C, approx. 20 min sterilization
Waste 121°C, approx. 20 min sterilization

Autoclave compatible materials:

  • Biological/infectious cultures and stocks. May contain antibiotics
  • Culture dishes and related items
  • Discarded live and attenuated viruses/vaccines
  • Contaminated* solid items (pipette tips, gloves, petri dishes, falcon tubes etc.)
    *Biological or infectious agents only, no chemicals!
  • Items for sterilization (glassware, media, equipment, water)
  • Polypropylene (PP) and Polycarbonate (PC) plastics
  • Borosilicate glass
  • Stainless steel

Autoclave incompatible materials:

  • Materials containing solvents; volatile, toxic, corrosive or flammable chemicals
  • Material contaminated with chemotherapeutic agents, cytotoxic drugs
  • Radioactive chemicals
  • Material containing bleach
  • Carcinogens or mutagens (e.g. Ethidium bromide)
  • Decontamination solutions, e.g. Virkon or other!
  • Phenol and Trizol
  • Polystyrene (PS), Polyethylene (PE), and high density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastics
  • “Household” glassware
  • To prevent bottles from shattering during pressurization and to facilitate steam penetration, bottle caps and stoppers placed in the yellow autoclavable bins must be loosened before placed in the bin! If left sealed, the bottles might not be properly sterilized and could burst violently if exposed to extreme heat!
  • Never mix liquids and solids to be autoclaved. These two fractions are autoclaved with different programs.
  • If you are not sure if your waste material is autoclave compatible, or if you do not have the correct container, dispose of as “Sharp and infectious” waste instead.
  • Please follow the guidelines at all times! Autoclaving hazardous or incompatible materials may generate toxic vapors or explosive environments for the FM service personnel!

Sterilization of materials and liquids

If you want to sterilize equipment/products prior to use in an experiment;

  1. Leave the solid materials or liquids you wish to have sterilized in the room for clean lab glassware. There is one room for glassware available on each floor.
  2. Materials such as pipette tips, tubes, and tools etc. are placed in an autoclave bag.
  3. Label with the “To be autoclaved” label and write name and quarter.
  4. The autoclaved materials and liquids will be returned to the room for clean lab glassware once it has been autoclaved. Please pick up your items within two days or you risk having them removed if there is lack of space.
  5. If you want to have your items autoclaved for the same day you have to leave them before 12 am.
  • No autoclave-incompatible materials or chemicals are allowed to be autoclaved! For a general overview over compatible and incompatible materials, see section “Guidelines”.
  • For waste and/or contaminated laboratory glass and materials to be autoclaved, see sections below.
string basket containing bags for items to be autoclaved and bottle
Place materials such as pipettes tips, tubes and tools in autoclave bags.
label reading "to be autoclaved"
"To be autoclaved" label.

Contaminated materials or glass for autoclaving and dishwashing

Materials or glassware contaminated with infectious or biological materials need to be sent for autoclaving before dishwashing. Note that no chemical contaminations are allowed.

  1. Contaminated laboratory glass or materials are placed by the space marked “Lab Washing – contaminated, or waste to be autoclaved” in your quarter waste room.
  2. Use the yellow autoclavable bin, or on the red container (if the items don’t fit in the yellow bin) for your materials. Always put contaminated material or glass in an autoclave bag before placing it in the bin or on the container. See picture below.
  3. Label the bin or autoclave bag with the label “contaminated materials, and/or WASTE, TO BE AUTOCLAVED”. Cross the “solid” option, and fill in name, quarter and date.

These containers will be autoclaved and the materials or glass will then be sent to the dishwashing facility.

IMPORTANT! To prevent bottles from shattering during pressurization and to facilitate steam penetration, bottle caps and stoppers placed in the yellow autoclavable bins must be loosened before placed in the bin! If left sealed, the bottles might not be properly sterilized and could burst violently if exposed to extreme heat!
IMPORTANT! Never mix liquids and solids to be autoclaved. These two fractions are autoclaved with different programs.

  • The yellow containers are autoclavable and reusable (possible to reopen). Note that these containers are not to be mixed up with the other single-use yellow containers for “Sharp and infectious” waste.
  • No autoclave-incompatible materials or chemicals are allowed to be autoclaved. For a general overview over compatible and incompatible materials, see section “Guidelines”.
Yellow autoclavable bin and red container for contaminated materials or glass. "To be autoclaved" label for contaminated and/or waste.
Yellow autoclavable bin and red container for contaminated materials or glass. "To be autoclaved" label for contaminated and/or waste.

Waste to be autoclaved

Solid or liquid waste contaminated with infectious and/or biological materials can be sent for autoclaving and disposal.

  1. Liquid or solid waste for autoclaving and disposal are placed by the space marked “Lab Washing – Contaminated, or waste to be autoclaved” in your quarter waste room.
  2. Use the yellow autoclavable bin, or on the red container (if the items don’t fit in the yellow bin) for your waste. Always put waste in an autoclave bag before placing it in the bin or on the container. See picture below.
  3. Liquid waste is to be placed in a bottle or container before placed in the yellow autoclavable bin. Liquid waste containing antibiotics is also allowed, but no other chemicals are allowed to be autoclaved.
  4. Label the bin or autoclave bag with the label “contaminated materials, and/or WASTE, TO BE AUTOCLAVED”. Cross the “solid” option, and fill in name, quarter and date. Mark also whether the waste contains antibiotics or not.
  5. The containers will be autoclaved and the content disposed of as normal combustible waste. Waste containing antibiotics will be autoclaved and then disposed of as chemical waste, due to the antibiotic content.

Note:

IMPORTANT! To prevent bottles from shattering during pressurization and to facilitate steam penetration, bottle caps and stoppers must be loosened before placed in the yellow autoclave bin. If left sealed, they may not be properly sterilized and could burst violently if exposed to extreme heat.
IMPORTANT! Never mix liquids and solids to be autoclaved. These two fractions are autoclaved with different programs.

  • The yellow containers are autoclavable and reusable (possible to reopen). Note that these containers are not to be mixed up with the other single-use yellow containers for “Sharp and infectious” waste.
  • No autoclave-incompatible materials or chemicals are allowed to be autoclaved. For a general overview over compatible and incompatible materials, see section “Autoclaving Guidelines”.
  • Unmarked or wrongly handled waste will not be collected by FM personnel. Unmarked or wrongly handled waste will be labelled with the label for inappropriate waste.
Yellow autoclavable bin for contaminated solid or liquid waste.
Yellow autoclavable bin for contaminated solid or liquid waste.
"To be autoclaved" label for contaminated solid or liquid waste.
"To be autoclaved" label for contaminated solid or liquid waste.
three images showing correct and incorrect labelling of waste.
Unmarked or wrongly handled waste will not be collected by FM personnel. Unmarked or wrongly handled waste will be labelled with the label for inappropriate waste.
"To be autoclaved" label for contaminated solid or liquid waste.
"To be autoclaved" label for contaminated solid or liquid waste.

Lab coats to be autoclaved

If you need clean and autoclaved lab coats, send a ticket via FM Helpdesk to order autoclaved lab coats.

If you have a contaminated lab coat that needs to be autoclaved (decontaminated) prior to being washed;

  1. Place it in an autoclave bag and label with the label “TO BE AUTOCLAVED”. Until we have received the Biomedicum common lab coats also fill in your name, quarter and the date.
  2. Place the bag in the waste room in your quarter by the space marked “Lab Washing – Contaminated, or waste to be autoclaved”.
  3. Clean lab coats will be placed in the room for clean lab glassware on each floor.

Contact

FM Helpdesk.