Sanitization - Steam @ 327 Degrees Good Enough?

TinyLittleFish

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Feb 9, 2018
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In lieu of bleach, do you think steam at 327 F (~164 C) would work to kill of living things, such as snail eggs in their hard casings? ESPECIALLY snail eggs in their hard casings.

I am guessing unless I have some tardigrades on the equipment, the steam should get rid of any bacteria, mold, fungus...

To clean any equipment prior to use, I used to do a soap wash to remove residual grease and some oil based contaminants, (injection mould release, etcetera) followed by a bleach dip and/or scrub for the living stuff. A very thorough rinse after bleach completed the sanitation, and I never had problems introducing anything into a "new" setup with any equipment, new or used.
 

Allwissend

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The answer in general is no.

Steam can for sure sterilize and it is used in autoclaving ( 3% humidity would be optimal). To clean glassware of all microbial contamination you will need 121*C, 1h, 27in.Hg. Needless to say this will crack normal glass and distort plastic.

The problem is not the steam temperature per se, but you have to increase the temperature of the object high enough to kill the bacteria. So time of exposure and environmental temperature also play a role.

Now for snail eggs and protists a good slow steaming should kill them, but might be tricky to get the correct dosing. Much faster and easier to use 10% solution of sodium hypochlorite, let sit for 20-30 min and treat with sodium thiosulphate. You might not get surgical sterility, but enough for our purposes.