Chamber Cleaning Instructions

Autoclave Basics: Chamber Cleaning Instructions [w/ Video]

Arthur Trapotsis
Written by: Arthur Trapotsis

MS Biochemical Engineering, MBA, Consultant

The idea of cleaning your autoclave’s chamber on a regular basis might seem counterintuitive — after all, autoclaves are designed to sterilize lab equipment. Wouldn’t it naturally follow that the chamber is also sterilized each time you run a cycle?

The reality is that, without routine cleaning, the moisture, high temperatures, and pressure that make sterilization possible can cause wear to your autoclave’s chamber. And, if any chemical residue is left behind after you’ve run a cycle, it can corrode the interior of the chamber, leading to rust and other long-term issues. Left unaddressed, these issues could require costly replacements and unnecessary downtime.

We’ve created this handy chamber cleaning guide — including a brief video tutorial — to prevent damage from happening and to ensure that your autoclave continues to operate as it should.

How Often Should I Clean My Autoclave Chamber?

There are technically three answers to this question:

  • First, it’s important to immediately wipe up any spills in the autoclave chamber after every cycle. Letting spills — especially media that is chemical or corrosive in any way — sit on the floor of the chamber can cause stains, scale, and rust to form.
  • Second, be sure to flush the chamber with clean, non-chlorinated water or a specialized cleaning solution (more on that in just a moment) once a week. This is especially important if you routinely sterilize saline solutions.
  • Depending on the type of goods you sterilize, you may also need to do a scrub cleaning on a regular basis — either once a week, or every other week.

What Materials Do I Need to Clean My Autoclave Chamber?

There are a few basic items you’ll need in order to clean your sterilizer chamber:

In terms of specialized cleaning solutions, we recommend using our C3 Sterilizer Chamber Cleaner. This specially formulated cleaning solution is designed to remove rust, scale, and stains from both stainless steel and nickel-clad steel chamber surfaces. Unlike other chamber cleaners, our C3 cleaner doesn’t leave behind any residue and doesn’t require special disposal. It can be used for both weekly cleanings and daily spot treatments and is proven to improve chamber appearance, eliminate odors, and extend the life of your autoclave.

For best results, we recommend using our C3 solution in conjunction with our specially made cleaning pads, which feature a rounded interior corner design for easy cleaning.

How Do I Clean My Autoclave Chamber?

Once you’ve assembled the appropriate materials, cleaning your chamber is easy. For safety’s sake, be sure to wait until the autoclave has cooled and to put on your gloves before you begin:

  1. Remove shelf racks from the chamber, but leave the chamber drain strainer in place.
  2. Spray cleaning solution either onto a cleaning pad or directly onto the chamber walls. If you choose to apply the solution to the cleaning pad, there’s no need to spray until it’s soaking wet; damp is fine.
  3. Using a back-and-forth scrubbing motion, scrub the chamber walls, ceiling, and floor. You may need to attach the cleaning pad to a makeshift pole or extender in order to reach the back of the chamber.
  4. Once you’ve finished cleaning the chamber, spray the inside of it with non-chlorinated/purified water and use a cotton rag or towel to wipe down surfaces.
  5. Once the chamber is cleaned and wiped out, brush away any debris and clean the chamber drain strainer.
  6. Place the chamber drain strainer and shelf rack back into the chamber.

If you’re more of a visual learner, we’ve also created a video illustrating the process:


Cleaning your autoclave’s chamber is a simple way to make sure you take care of your equipment and get the most out of your investment. For additional insights on how to keep your autoclave operating in peak condition, contact the experts at Consolidated Sterilizer Systems today.

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