Only Pyrex® or Type I borosilicate glass is autoclavable.
- Sterilizing liquids in glass bottles
When autoclaving liquids in Pyrex® containers, do not fill more than 2/3 full and do not seal the container (loosely tighten the lid if there is one).
Polypropylene is an inexpensive resin that can resist autoclave temperatures. Polypropylene containers are often used as secondary containers to hold materials that are autoclaved. Polycarbonate can also withstand high temperatures.
Polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nylon, acrylic, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lab ware and polyurethane tubing are not autoclavable under any conditions.
Gloves must be placed inside of an autoclavable biohazard bag and exposed to a steam setting; gloves will melt slightly but will not burn when autoclaved in this manner.
Most metals are designed for extreme conditions and are intended to be sterilized. Make sure to remove any plastics, liners and other items that may melt or combust.
Paper is combustible and should not be placed directly inside an autoclave. It should be autoclaved in a waste bag on a biobag setting to prevent fire.
No liquid should be sealed in a container and autoclaved. Fill 2/3 of the container and loosen caps. They should autoclaved in a steam producing cycle.
Most pipette tips are autoclavable. Some of these tips are plastic, some are high density polyethylene. In general, pipette tips should only enter the autoclave as waste inside of an approved biohazard bag and always sterilized on a steam-producing setting.