Sterilizing with alcohol?

Karl-Heinz Kuhn t2150 kuhn at
Wed Dec 20 19:13:12 EST 1995

In article <30d7cb73.0 at> Andreas.Brune at (Andreas Brune) writes:
>Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
>From: Andreas.Brune at (Andreas Brune)
>Subject: Re: Sterilizing with alcohol?
>Organization: Universitaet Konstanz
>References: <4b7i7l$pna$1 at>
>X-Newsreader: News Xpress Version 1.0 Beta #4
>Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 08:38:11 GMT
>Message-ID: <30d7cb73.0 at>
>Lines: 26

>In article <4b7i7l$pna$1 at>,
>   Ben Feldman <103153.3041 at CompuServe.COM> wrote:
>>I need to sterilize some electrodes.  If memory serves, a biologist 
>>friend once told me that 70% alcohol works well as a disinfectant.  
>>Is this true?  If so,
>>(1) ethanol or isopropanol?
>>(2) why 70% instead of 100%?

>(1) Both should work, but I never used i-Propanol myself.

Isopropanol is used by people, who need large volumes. Isopropanol is less 
expensive than ethanol. That's why!

>(2) 70% EtOH is supposed to be more efficient killing Gram + cells.
>    The usual explanation is that 100% EtOH immediately dehydrates the
>    murein sacculus which can be very thick with Gram + bacteria
>    and then efficiently seals the cytoplasm from contact with the
>    alcohol (seemingly logical but to my knowledge not published 
>    anywhere ...)

>If you are attempting to sterilize electrodes make sure to soak them
>long enough to allow the sterilant to diffuse into any crevices. If you
>are using filling solutions behind a sinter glas diaphragm regard this 
>a possible contamination pathway as well.

>Dr. Andreas Brune * Mikrobielle Oekologie * Fakult. f. Biologie * Universitaet
>Konstanz * Postfach 5560, M654 * 78434 Konstanz * Germany * Phone:
>+49-7531-883282 * Fax: +49-7531-882966


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