Microwave Sterilization

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jcdillin

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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.
 

ScubaSteve

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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....
 

jcdillin

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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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korndog

korndog

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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.
 

conpewter

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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
 

menschmaschine

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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.
 

conpewter

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Nice article! Perhaps I would have been better off putting my tubing in the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute

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.
 

menschmaschine

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So, all of these hospitals and microbiology-related laboratories with their $10,000-$20,000 autoclaves could have been using a standard household microwave all this time?
 

brrman

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Metal is OK in a microwave if you don't have 2 pieces of metal in close proximity to each other. For instance I put a metal dog bowl in there to heat up dog food on occasion. No ill effects whatsoever. Now, put some crumpled tin foil in there and you have a fire.
 

conpewter

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Yes but the thing is that metal will reflect the microwaves so I don't think you are sterilizing your dog bowl. And in any case it doesn't have to be two pieces of metal, even one piece of metal that has sharp edges will spark and could screw up the microwave. Also if all you put in the microwave is metal, even if it does not spark you'll screw your magnetron eventually.

Point being that an autoclave has an important role in a lab that a household microwave cannot replace.

I would like to see more research into this, it would be very nice for sterilizing small objects that can take the heat.
 
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