Why Is Autoclaving Better Than Boiling?

Why Is Autoclaving Better Than Boiling?
Authored By Tom Toi

Autoclaves are highly reliable devices that are used to thoroughly, efficiently, and effectively sterilise all types of instruments. By generating saturated steam, the most stubborn microorganisms such as spores can be easily eliminated.

However, have you ever thought about why autoclaving is better than boiling? Boiling is another common sterilisation technique; however, it is not quite as effective as autoclaving. 

If you want to learn more about why autoclaving is better than boiling, then please continue reading as we explore this in more detail below.

What Is Autoclaving?

First, it is important to discuss what processes occur in autoclaving and boiling. We are all familiar with boiling, but probably not as much with autoclaving.

Autoclaving is a technique that is used to sterilise objects. It makes use of a machine - or an autoclave - that resembles a large pressure cooker. Autoclaves are also known as steam sterilisers. 

Autoclaving takes place in three phases: the conditioning phase, the exposure phase, and the exhaust phase.

In the conditioning phase, all air is displaced from within the autoclave chamber. It is usually removed by a vacuum system, but it may also be removed with a series of pressure pulses and steam flushes. 

Next, the exposure phase occurs when the drain closes, and steam is generated into the autoclave chamber. Pressure and temperature rapidly increase to a set level. The objects within the chamber are subject to the desired sterilisation temperature for a fixed time period.

Lastly, the exhaust phase is the phase in which the steriliser drain is once more opened, the steam is removed, and the vessel depressurised. The items contained in the chamber are left to dry.

The autoclaving time frame is very important when it comes to the sterilisation process. In fact, there is a close relationship between time and temperature in order to achieve proper and thorough steam sterilisation. 


Why Autoclaving Better Than Boiling

Autoclaving vs. Boiling

The difference between autoclaving and boiling--aside from the fact the autoclaving involves steam while boiling does not - is the temperature range.

The temperature range of autoclaves is around 121°C to 135°C. On average, this is around 20 degrees higher than the normal boiling point which is around 100°C.

Because of this, autoclaving carries much more heat which is able to more effectively kill harmful microbes. It can kill spores and germs that are normally resistant to boiling water and even powerful detergents.

Unlike autoclaving, boiling can kill almost everything except some endospores. This means you would need to boil the items for a very long period of time or intermittent boiling may be used.

However, autoclaving is efficient not only in killing microbes but in the time it can execute this. Autoclaves have the option of setting the desired time and temperature, all while being able to reach temperatures that can kill any type of microorganism.

Other Benefits Of Autoclaving

The main benefit of autoclaving is that it performs the most reliable form of sterilisation, especially over other forms of sterilisation such as boiling. However, it also comes with other benefits. 

Autoclaves can sterilise solids, liquids, hollows, and other objects of varying shapes and sizes. However, it is important to be mindful of the guidelines for autoclavable objects. Some objects, such as plastics, are not compatible with autoclaves, which may cause potential hazards.

Autoclaves are also found in various industries and settings such as hospitals, laboratories, and even beauty salons and tattoo parlors. Clearly, it is a very reliable device for sterilisation no matter what industry it may be for.

Why Autoclaving Better Than Boiling


Autoclaving is a technique that is used to kill the most stubborn microorganisms. It relies on time, temperature, and pressure to generate the most conducive environment for sterilisation. 

Autoclaving is better than boiling because it can generate much higher temperatures where microbes that are boiling-resistant cannot survive. Steam sterilisation is highly efficient, making it one of the most reliable forms of sterilisation. 

Autoclaving can be used on various instruments. Additionally, because of how reliable autoclaving is, autoclaves can be found in numerous settings to sterilise numerous objects. Truly, it is much more reliable than boiling is, no matter what industry or setting it may be for.

MES Medical Equipment Services has been Australia’s leading provider of autoclaves and other medical equipment and equipment services since 1952. 

We were originally established to provide electro-medical products to healthcare professionals across the country. 

Our products range from sterilisation, dental systems, dental imaging, electrosurgical equipment, medical consumables,  dental lasers, and equipment service maintenance.

We sell only top of the line equipment and machines produced by the leading manufacturers in the world. Our integrity and standards are your guarantees!

If you are searching for the best autoclave supplier in Australia, then look no further than Medical Equipment Services Australia

For all your medical and dental supply requirements, please call us today on 1300 342 013 or contact us through our website.

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