Due to the efforts of a19th century French chemist, Louis Pasteur, we know more about bacteria and how to destroy it. Pasteur discovered that in order to kill bacteria on medical instruments and other tools, these items needed to be heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of his discovery, the autoclave became a standard piece of medical equipment and continues to be used in order to sterilize instruments.
It’s been proven that blood-borne pathogens can survive on instruments and surfaces for up to a week. Bacteria and viruses can also survive for a considerable amount of time. This is why any tools and other objects used at tattoo and piercing shops need to be cleaned and sterilized between clients. The same applies to the surrounding surfaces. Most contaminants on instruments can be eliminated by coming into contact with an autoclave’s pressurized steam. In order to kill microorganisms, an autoclave’s temperature needs to be set between 250 to 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
When autoclaves fail to function optimally, there are usually two primary reasons. Either the operator has made an error or the machine has failed to work properly. This could be due to the device being old and requiring sterilizer repair or replacement. It could also be due to the device not receiving sufficient maintenance. As with all important equipment, autoclaves need to be tested and serviced on a regular basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that spore tests should be conducted on sterilization machines such as autoclaves a minimum of once per week.
When you’re a tattoo artist or piercer, it’s important to have a well-maintained and quality sterilizing system. An autoclave sterilizer, such as a Statim 5000, is considered to be an efficient system. Once you purchase this device, be sure to refer to your Statim 5000 service manual on a regular basis. Your service manual will outline how often you will need autoclave maintenance service as well as other important information. If you have any issues or questions that aren’t covered in your Statim 5000 service manual, then you can discuss these with your maintenance service provider.