Protocol Online logo
Top : Forum Archives: : Real-Time PCR

Weekly Decontamination Routine? - To prevent DNA contamination in a PCR lab (Apr/15/2008 )

In my lab we are doing PCR and we seem to have a major contamination issue. To deal with it, we have ordered all new reagents, and open and aliquot them in a laminar flow hood, with a dedicated set of pipettors. All tubes, tips, gloves are UVed, autoclaved, or both. We have recently redesigned our primers to make them more unique, and are having the hood professionally decontaminated and serviced. The hope is that all this will give us a fresh start, and then we will only need to keep up with good practices. My question concerns the best way in which to clean the benches and general area. I have heard 10% bleach, and 70% ethanol once a week, but ethanol doesn't break down DNA, so I'm not sure why use it. No one in my lab has done such sensitive work before, so any insight or suggestions someone experienced might have would be very appreciated. Oh, and a pre/post PCR room is not a possibility in our little lab...


You didn't mention barrier tips, which are probably the most important thing. I don't recommend autoclaving tubes or tips, since they come clean, and autoclaves can spread contamination.