non-heat sterilization - suggestions?

LOGAN logan at
Fri Oct 13 03:48:49 EST 1995

*Hello. We use big plastic trays (25cm^2) for plating E. coli and lambda
*phage. They are rather expensive (circa $5 ea.), and we use a lot of them.
*I need a method of sterilizing them, after they have been cleaned, for
*reuse. They cannot be reused. Does anyone have any brilliant (heck - any)
*suggestions! ...  :)
*Greg Stuart     gstuart2 at
*Centre for Environmental Health, 9865 W. Saanich Rd.,
*Sidney, B.C., CANADA. V8L 3S1. FAX: (604) 656-8148  TEL: (604) 656-8146
Yes it is possible.
What I do is, after discarding the agar/bacteria or phage already there into a 
bag to be killed, I soak the dishes in bleach solution for a while then give 
them a good scrub out, I use very hot water (this washing is probably common 
sense, but I'm detailing it in case there is some magic!). Then once they're 
dried I put them into a sterile flow hood with the inside of both half upwards, 
close the hood, then switch the UV light on for 30 min. (maybe shorter times 
will work, I haven't tried). Turn on the sterile flow, before switching off the 
UV then carefully put the lid on the box. What I did the first time to see if 
this had worked was pour LB media into one of them and incubate O/weekend. 
nothing grew, so I figured it was OK. I have been doing this fairly successfully
since, and have reused the same boxes at least 3x. 

Anyway, I hope this works for you

Helen Logan
Logan at

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