Are Autoclaves Used Microbiology

Microbes such as bacteria, algae, protozoa, prions, viruses, fungi and archaea play an important role in almost all the life processes such as spoilage, nutrient cycling and other such things. Many of these microbes are widely used for making a variety of life-saving drugs, processing food, biofuel manufacturing and even cleaning up pollution. Naturally, these microbes need to be studied for research purposes and the study of all such organisms that aren’t visible to the naked eye is known as microbiology. This is where autoclaves come into the picture.

A microbiologist uses a variety of instruments to study these microbes. Naturally, all these instruments such as containers, slides, test tubes, Petri dishes, culture bottles, specimen dishes and syringes need to be sterilised before and after use. Various techniques are used for complete sterilisation of these instruments but the most effective method is autoclaving.

Are Autoclaves Used in Microbiology?

The short answer is, yes. Autoclaves are widely used in labs and clinical settings.

Autoclaving makes use of a sterilisation device known as an autoclave. This essentially works as a pressure cooker which helps in raising the temperature of steam inside the sterilisation chamber to more than 120 degrees C. It looks like a microwave. Inside the autoclave is a sterilisation chamber where the materials to be sterilised are placed and sterilised. This chamber is first vacuumed and then, steam is introduced under pressure. The temperature inside the sterilisation chamber can go from 121 degrees C to more than 130 degrees C, depending on the type of autoclave along with a pressure of at least 15 psi.

The time taken for sterilisation depends on the materials being sterilised, load density and some other factors. It usually takes around 30 minutes for a batch to be completely sterilised though the exact time depends on a variety of factors. The autoclave controls include settings for pressure, heat as well as time.

Are Autoclaves Used  Microbiology

Benefits Of Autoclaving In Microbiology

Autoclaves offer a huge range of benefits when it comes to sterilisation in a microbiology lab as well as dentistry. Here are a few details of such benefits:

1. Effectiveness – It is one of the most effective methods of sterilisation as the high temperature and pressure kill all the microbes. Most users agree that autoclaving is a more effective sterilisation technique than using chemicals or dry heat.

2. Saves time – Other sterilisation techniques take a lot longer compared to autoclaving. If you use dry heat or chemical methods to sterilise various instruments and dishes used in a microbiology lab, it takes a lot longer compared to using an autoclave.

3. Cost-effective – When it comes to waste disposal in lab settings, it is much more cost-effective compared to using chemicals.

4. Ease of use – This method of sterilisation is easy to use compared to other methods. No special products are needed for this method. Also, many autoclaves come equipped with a variety of pre-set programs that allow the users to pre-set certain settings which means the autoclave can be used properly by almost anyone with basic training.

Types Of Autoclaves

There are 3 classes of autoclaves:

Class N – This class of autoclaves is intended for sterilising items that are naked or unwrapped. In a microbiology lab setting, such items may include trays, test tubes, Petri dishes and other such things. It won’t be effective at sterilising porous materials.

Class B – These autoclaves have a vacuum cycle which means the air is removed from the sterilisation chamber before steam is introduced under pressure. These autoclaves are capable of sterilising even porous materials and wrapped items.

Class S – This class of autoclaves doesn’t fall in the above two categories.


A microbiologist deals with microbes and uses a variety of items for their work. All these items need to be completely sterilised and this is why autoclaving is the preferred sterilisation method in a microbiology lab. It is highly effective and takes much less time as compared to other sterilisation methods. Autoclaves are available in a variety of shapes and sizes including those with a small footprint that is just right for a microbiology lab.

If you are searching for the best autoclave supplier in Australia, then look no further than Dental Equipment Services. We offer the best dental equipment in Australia for your dental practice. Our experienced and friendly staff will help you find the right equipment – whatever your needs might be. Contact us today to learn more about autoclaves and other technologies we offer. Our representatives will answer any questions you may have and help supply all your dental equipment needs!

For all your autoclave and any other dental supply requirements, please call us today on 1300 144 975 or leave an enquiry.

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