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Autoclaving water to go into the incubator - (May/31/2013 )

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Is it common to autoclave distilled water to be used for humidifying a cell culture incubator? How is the risk of getting contamination from the loosely screwed bottle (during autoclaving)?

-science noob-

Hi science noob

It is common to use autoclaved water (I use ordinary tap water not distilled as our equipment is stainless and rusts quicker when distilled water is used). Also I add 1ml of roccal (fungicide and antibacterial agent) to the water tray in the incubator before I add about 2L of autoclaved tap water to help keep contamination at bay.

Also because autoclaving is a sterilisation process i think the chances of contamination onset in the autoclave are minimal. Just screw the lid back down when the sterilisation cycle is done.


Agree, at our place it's also common to use autoclaved distilled water...


We use normal tap water (not distilled) for the same reason as Wachi stated.

Also, we sterilise all of our bacterial culture media with lids loosened half a turn. I never tighten them after autoclaving, just pop them on the shelf until needed, sometimes for as long as a few months (I do close tightly after they have been opened once). Never had a contamination.
So I think the water will be just fine.


Is MilliQ water (the filtration system by Millipore) = distilled? or just deionised? If so, would that be suitable in the incubator?

-science noob-

Milli-Q water is usually (as I understand it) distilled water that is then purified using an ion exchange cartridge. I don't think it has to be distilled prior to purification, but ours is- so the cartridges last longer apparently.

I wouldn't use either for the incubator (for the increased rusting reason mentioned above). Normal tap water is just fine (and what is recommended in the manual for both of our incubators which are different brands).

You could check your brand's manual to see what they recommend?


Dear Science Noob,
in my situation, if I look in our MilliQ water equipment, I usually can see the inlet for this machine is an outlet from another machine.
The other machine is water distillation or deionization system.
As lelee said, to make the filtration system lasts longer.


What we did in my time was use just sterilized tap water, and that made no difference. The risk of contaminating loosely capped bottles during the process of sterilization was nil.

-Enoch Oblitey-

Same here. We autoclave regular tap water and supplement the water with SDS. Distilled and Milli-Q water will rust your incubator.


jerryshelly1 on Thu Jun 20 02:06:44 2013 said:

Same here. We autoclave regular tap water and supplement the water with SDS. Distilled and Milli-Q water will rust your incubator.


What is the purpose of adding SDS? As an anti-bacterial?

-science noob-
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