DIY autoclave? Ideas?

Does anyone know of a way to build an autoclave? I know that they are essentially pressure cookers on steroids, but would a standard pressure cooker truly sterilize something? No, I'm not trying to give myself tattoos or attempt surgery on the cat. It would be mostly for biology experiments, such as swabbing cultures. I could get one on eBay for about $150 minimum, but I don't really feel like spending $150 to grow bacteria. Any ideas?

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jimwig6 years ago
a fella named magpie did some work on a homemade autoclave here:

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=14652#pid190003
bkf117 years ago
OK, old thread but I'll add what I know. I work in a biology lab and we frequently use normal pressure cookers to sterilise culture media. We put 2cm water in the bottom, have a little shelf that things sit on above the water, put in the items to be sterilised, leaving bottle tops open a bit. Shut lid and heat on a stove top till it's boiling, then put a 15 (PSI?) pressure regulator weight onto the vent and heat till steam is coming out (noisy). Then cook for 15 minutes and let cool. Done
westfw8 years ago
For "typical" biology experiments, I suspect a pressure cooker will work just fine. (It's good enough for canning foods for human consumption, right? You're not going to have so many of those high-temp extremeophile germs around your home experiments, probably.) Pressure cookers have a vent, so the air goes out and they ARE full of steam. Sterilizing is one of their primary functions (canning), although "modern" usage night focus on cooking things faster.

Asian markets frequently sell agar powder and/or "sticks." Also available from "natural food" suppliers.
lemonie10 years ago
Pressure-cooker? L
CameronSS (author)  lemonie10 years ago
See comments below.
lemonie CameronSS10 years ago
Well it's bad-eyes, laziness, or intoxication, take your pick... Sorry L
bumpus lemonie8 years ago
:D
lemonie bumpus8 years ago
Er yes, accidental L
NeroInferno8 years ago
A friend of me built 2 pressure cookers that can reach 60psi using 2 old beer barrels. They are built to keep a pressure of 60psi. He semply cutted them on the top to make the part of the lid and the part where you put things to sterilize. Then he used some wing nuts to close the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker can reach all that pressure but he use them at 21-25 psi. Once it went to 35psi and melted all the plastic of the autoclavable bags. Imho if you dont sterilize a lot of thing a common All American Pressure Cooker will work. Please contact me privately at info@bemushroomed.com thanks! Fabio
tersmurf9 years ago
What about a rice cooker. It has a top cover and is electric heated. It steams water and steam comes out the top.
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