What is a sterilization pouch and what is it used for?
A sterilization pouch is a type of disposable use in conjunction with a sterilizing device, such as an autoclave, to safely and effectively sterilize precision equipment that must be kept clean and free of contamination. The most common users of use these sterilization pouches for their tools are dental professionals, nail technicians, tattoo artists, beauticians and scientific laboratories workers.
A sterilization pouch consists of two main parts - the medical grade paper and a type of plastic film held together with adhesive. Most sterilization pouches have a built-in adhesive at the opening to properly close and seal the pouch before putting in the sterilization device.
Please note that not all items are designed to be sterilized. For example, disposable items in a beauty salon, including nail files, should not be put into a sterilization pouch and sterilized. Please consult individual product instructions to ensure that items are suitable to be sterilized.
See our selection of Primo's Self Seal Sterilization Pouches in Multiple Sizes!
Types of Sterilization Methods
Per the CDC, there are three main methods to ensure proper sterilization.
- Steam autoclave: This is the most common method of sterilization. Most self sealing sterilization pouches are breathable and allow for steam to penetrate to properly sterilize your tools.
- Unsaturated chemical vapor: This is another popular method of sterilization that allows for vapors to precipitate on contents. Vapors should not react with packaging material.
- Dry heat: The dry heat sterilization method should not insulate items from heat and sterilization packaging should be able to withstand the high sterilizing temperatures. Note that sterilization pouches are not suitable for dry heat sterilization because the paper and plastic are not designed for these high temperatures. Improper use of self sealing sterilization pouches will result in the pouches melting. The sterilization packaging should be made of the one of the following materials: paper bags, aluminum foil, polyfilm plastic tubing or wrapped perforated cassettes
How To Use A Sterilization Pouch
Carefully insert items to be sterilized into the pouch and seal securely. When using multiple pouches in sterilizer make sure the plastic side of the pouch always faces the paper side of the adjacent pouch.
- Place the pouches in your choice of sterilization device. When possible, use a pouch rack to eliminate the stacking of the pouches. Make sure that your sterilization pouches are dry upon removal from the sterilization device
Upon removal, please ensure that your items have been sterilized. Most sterilization pouches will have indicators on the paper side that will change once the bag has been sterilized. Our Primo Self Seal Sterilization pouches have a variety of indicators on the bag to indicate proper sterilization. The Triple-Check™ blue indicator will turn dark green when sterilized by steam. The Triple-Check™ pink indicator will turn yellow when sterilized by ETO. These indicators are “process” indicators, and should be used with biological indicators to verify sterilization.
- Note that all sterilization pouches should be stored in a cool (59 °F - 85 °F) and dry (40-70% humidity) environment. Items stored and sterilized in a Primo Pouch will be sterile for up to 1 year unless the pouch becomes wet, is opened, or is damaged.