Documentation:Standard Operating Procedures for Autoclave

From UBC Wiki
  1. Please obtain proper training from the FNH teaching lab technician Imelda Cheung ( prior to using the autoclave.
  2. Sample/waste handling prior to autoclave:
    • Biohazardous wastes should be placed in clear autoclave bag, with an autoclave indicator tape placed in a visible location. The bag should be loosely open to allow steams in and be placed in a metal tray.
    • Samples should also be placed in metal tray in case of spills.
  3. Before operating the steam generator, it's a good practice to flush the steam boiler before use. Please see
  4. Turn on the Steam Generator (Grey box).
  5. Turn on the power switch on the wall.
  6. Inspect the watch glass and ensure there is water, then turn on the Boiler.
  7. Wait for approximately 15 min until the steam generator gauge reads above 60 psi.
  8. On the autoclave, turn the valve to “LOAD” position.
  9. Wait for the jacket pressure to reach over 16 psi. This should take roughly 15 – 20 min.
    If jacket pressure does not reach desired level (i.e. 16 psi) after 30 min, close the chamber door tightly, run the cycle (LOAD --> STERILIZE --> VENT/DRY --> OFF) to vent out the water. For each cycle the chamber pressure MUST return to 0 psi before turning to OFF.
  10. For each autoclave run, you must sign the logbook and place a chemical indicator strip along with your load to ensure proper temperature is reached in the autoclave.
  11. Put the wastes or samples in a metal tray into the chamber and close the door tightly.
  12. Turn the valve to “STERILIZE” position and wait for the chamber pressure to reach 15 psi before manual timing
    • Biohazardous wastes - 60 min
    • Samples - 15 min
  13. When the sterilization time is up,
    • Biohazardous wastes - turn the valve to “VENT/DRY”
    • Equipment and glassware - turn the valve to “VENT/DRY”
    • Samples/media – turn the valve to “LIQUID COOL”
    It is important to use “LIQUID COOL” for any liquid containing sample preparation as the “VENT/DRY” function will drop the pressure too quickly and lead to spilling out of solutions from the flasks/bottles.
  14. Wait until the chamber pressure drops to 0 psi.
  15. Turn the valve to “OFF” and open chamber door to remove sample/waste.
  16. If you have further samples/wastes, return to step 8 and repeat. Otherwise, proceed to turn off the Boiler, then the power switch on the wall, and finally the Steam Generator (Grey box).
    At this point, please make sure you have signed the log book or you may not be allowed to utilize the autoclave in the future.
To reserve a time to utilize the autoclave, please visit