Autoclave Bags FAQs

Q: What are autoclave bags?

A: Autoclave bags are used in high heat sterilization applications in order to prevent low temp plastics inside the bag from sticking to the walls of the sterilizer or plugging the sterilizer vent plumbing.


Q: What are the various types of sterilizers requiring autoclave bags or pouches?

A: There are 5  types of autoclaves or sterilizers, each kind requires specific types of bags.

Sterilizer Type / Bag Type

Gravity steam / Polyethylene or Polypropylene

High vacuum steam / Polypropylene

ETO gas / Polyethylene or Polypropylene

Chemical / Polypropylene

Dry heat / Nylon

High Density Polyethylene or Polypropylene bags are used in Gravity Steam Sterilizers because the temperatures reached are upwards of 250F+.

Polypropylene bags are exclusively used in High Vacuum Steam sterilizers and Chemical Vapor Pressure Sterilizers, because these sterilizers reach temperatures of 285F.

Nylon bags are used in Dry Heat Sterilizers because these sterilizers reach up to 320F.


Q: What are the USA government standards for manufacturers and end users regarding autoclave bags used in onsite sterilizers?

A: Bags must meet ASTM standards for dart drop and tear resistance- ASTM D1709-85,D-882 & 3745-27-34.  If bags are used for collection of waste, before sterilization, they must be printed with the International Biohazardous symbol and bilingual warning language.  (OSHA Standard 29cfr1910.1030)  *

Autoclave Sterilizer bags – for Steam high vacuum & gravity steam sterilizers.

Made of rubberized polypropylene, temperature resistance exceeds 285F.  Printed with bilingual biohazardous language and temperature indication strip(s).  Bags meet and exceed US federal regulations test methods ASTM D1709-85,D-882 & 3745-27-34 for both puncture and tear resistance

* Florida and Pennsylvania require that autoclave bags also comply with ASTM 1922-06a - the 480 gram tear test requirement as performed by ASTM 1922-06a standard in both film directions.