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Old 11-05-2008, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Microwave Sterilization

Hey, i was thinking about getting one of these to sanitize silicon racking hoses and small parts on the fly. Seems like a cheap way to get autoclave quality results. Anybody use the microwave for anything around here?

Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer : Target

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Old 11-05-2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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Well we use these to sterilize all the babies bottles and pumping equip. They hold a good bit and you can reuse them up to 20 times. The only bad thing that it will make any clear tubing you put in there cloudy.

IMO it's easier just to keep a spray bottle of starsan handy when I need to sanitize something quick.

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Old 11-05-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
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+1 on the bottles. I thought about using it for really small pieces, but realized that nothing needs to be sterile. Star-san is the way to go.

The only good use I can see for this is if you were to sterilize culture tubes....then it might come in handy....

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Old 11-05-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
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heh heh, the wife is gonna start complainin when her bags are missing and are full of my petri dishes

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Old 11-05-2008, 02:54 PM   #5
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Yeah, I use the spray bottle all day long; love it. I'm never really comfortable with hoses though. I can put hi-temp silicon hose in there when I need to rack for a quick fix.

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Old 11-05-2008, 03:48 PM   #6
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not a bad idea, I've used the oven to sterilize silicone hose, I put it on a cookie sheet in a 350* oven for 20 minutes or so since the silicone can take the heat up to 450 or so

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Old 11-05-2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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Doesn't steam have to be applied at pressure to sterilize?

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Old 11-05-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVD_X View Post
Doesn't steam have to be applied at pressure to sterilize?
Yes, I'm surprised they get away with calling it "sterilizing". Unless I'm missing something, that is not the equivalent to an autoclave. There are government/scientific definitions for sanitizing, disinfecting, and sterilizing based on killing a certain percentage of certain species of microbes. In short, for "sanitizing", think Star-San, Chlorine, Iodophor, etc. For disinfecting, think "rubbing alcohol". For sterilizing, the only things I know of are an autoclave or high heat/direct flame. That thing probably falls somewhere between sanitizing and disinfecting, which would make it fine for most homebrewing purposes. But I wouldn't use it in place of an autoclave or pressure canner.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:02 PM   #9
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Yeah, I thought sterilization was only attained under pressure at higher temperatures than are attainable in a microwave. Nonetheless, here is an interesting article that might indicate otherwise.

Microwaves in the laboratory: Effective decontamination | Clinical Laboratory Science | Find Articles at BNET

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Old 11-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
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Nice article! Perhaps I would have been better off putting my tubing in the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute

Quote:
RESULTS: The study indicated that microwave irradiation provided effective and efficient sterilization of all materials tested. Of the bacteria studied, only E coli survived beyond 30 seconds of microwave exposure. Yeast did not survive beyond 15 seconds of microwave exposure. Swabs and gauze contaminated with bacteria or yeast were completely sterilized after 30 seconds. After three minutes in the microwave oven, powdered, prepared media was free of contamination while able to support growth when inoculated with S. aureus.
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