Home > Sterilizers > Learning Lab > The Difference Between a Sterilizer and an Autoclave

The Difference Between a Sterilizer and an Autoclave

Today, we live in a world that is truly global. Through social media, texts and blogs, people can hear about the latest virus that threatens to spread world-wide before it has even touched one's own country. This has resulted in a society that is passionate about cleanliness and wants to know the best way to protect their families from illness. They are just as cautious about how others are helping to keep them healthy at the doctor's, tattoo shop, or the veterinarian.

Sterilizers and steam sterilizer autoclaves were once only associated with high school science students and doctors, but they have now caught the public's attention. Even if you do not use sterilizers in your profession, it can be useful to know of the devices your doctors, beauticians and even your nail technicians use to avoid passing on germs from one client to the next.

The Difference Between a Sterilizer and an Autoclave

While many say that sterilizers and autoclaves are synonymous, they are more like a tree-sterilizers are the trunk that autoclaves branch out from. A sterilizer is a general term for any equipment that can sterilize.

An autoclave sterilizer is a specific device that sterilizes equipment. The name is a combination of two ancient words: auto- which is Greek for self, and clave-which is Latin for key. When combined the two words mean "self-locking".

One of the things that sets steam autoclaves apart from other sterilizers is this automatic lock feature. Since an autoclave is a sterilizer, its purpose is like sterilizers-to kill or remove all forms of life on an object's surface such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and spores. While autoclaves solely utilize steam to disinfect, sterilizers can use chemicals, high pressure, filtration, irritation, or a combination of these methods to eliminate living organisms.

Not all sterilizers can be autoclaves sterilizers because not every device can withstand the high temperatures needed to kill every organism. If someone was to use a different type of equipment the material could melt and morph making it unusable.

The next step in understanding sterilizers is to understand the different sterilization processes. At Duraline BioSystems, we offer various types of new sterilizers and refurbished sterilizers like the Ritter Midmark Ultraclave to service your every need, order one today!