Polypropylene, polymethylpentane, polypropylene copolymer, TEFZEL ETFE, TEFLON FEP, PFA, polycarbonate, acetal and polysulfone products as well as PVC, and silicone tubing may be gas-sterilized (ethylene oxide, formaldehyde). We recommend allowing an appropriate aeration time suited to the particular application before re-using the item.
In general, all of the aforementioned plastics can be subjected to commonly used disinfectants (quaternary ammonium compounds, iodophors, formalin, benzalkonium chloride, ethanol, etc.). There may be some surface attack (crazing) when using a more chemically aggressive disinfectant on the less resistant plastics (PS, SAN, PVC, PC, acrylic) with prolonged use.
Dry heat sterilization is recommended only for ACL (acetal or polyoxymethylene), Halar ECTFE (ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene copolymer), EFTE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene), TEFLON FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), PPCO (polypropylene copolymer), PC (polycarbonate), TEFLON PFA (perfluoroalkoxy), PMP (polymethylpentene), PP (polypropylene), and TEFLON TFE (tetrafluoroethylene). Maximum temperatures and minimum sterilization times at each temperature for each of these resins are given in the following table:
Dry Heat Sterilization
Resins Temperature Time
FEP, PFA, PMP*, TFE 170°C (338°F) 60min
PSF 160°C (320°F) 120 min
ECTFE, ETFE 150°C (302°F) 150 min 140°C (284°F) 180 min
ACL, PPCO*, PC, PP* 120°C (250°F) overnight
*with no load, no stacking
In general, all plastics allow transmission of microwaves. Among commonly used plastics, PMP and PSF are most transparent to microwaves. We recommend their use when the chemical and temperature resistance of PMP and PSF are compatible with the material to be heated. Use fluoropolymers when aggressive chemicals, such as acids or solvents, are being heated; proper venting is essential. Closure threads must be completely disengaged before heating bottles or containers in a microwave oven.
Title: What other methods of Sterilization can be used on Nalgene® plastics?
Description: Gas, Chemical Disinfectants, Dry Heat, and Microwaving.
Last Edited: 3/11/2019
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