Autoclave alternative - (Dec/17/2004 )
Hello all. I was wondering if there is a good alternative to autoclaves for sterilizing flasks and such that are meant for growing bacteria. I am thinking some sort of chemical wash or something?
How about UV lighting or 70% alcohol spray? Also there are plastic big flasks which are autoclavable.
Dry heat at 180C for several hours is an effective alternative. Watch out for caps, however. The orange Corning and similar 45mm caps for media bottles, specifically, melt.
Gamma sterilization is the ideal method of choice for best result.
You could try a 1% solution of sodium metabisulphite, this is sometimes used to sterilise flasks for brewing and wine making, and seems to be pretty effective.
1% Sodium met. is a good sterilizer but needs a lot of rinsing. Many home-brewers use either Iodophor or StarSan. As StarSan (a food-grade acid-based sanitizer) tends to leave a residue, I go for iodophor. It's claimed effective at 12.5ppm titrable iodine with a 60second contact time. I use about a couple of capfulls (10ml) in 25litre water.
Have a link about the pros and cons of various sterilization procedures.
Lab grunt, geek and brewer.