We have reached the end of the Sterilization Methods Series where we explored the different ways to kill or remove deadly bacteria, viruses, and harmful pathogens.

How do you select the appropriate sterilization method when there are so many choices available? Your decision will depend on many different parameters, including:

The purpose of sterilization. Sterilization in the lab is different than in hospitals, which is also different than pharmaceutical sterilization. Each industry and application have their own unique requirements.
The material that needs to be sterilized. Is the material heat sensitive? Is it sensitive to moisture, gas or radiation?
The nature of the microorganisms that need to be destroyed or removed.
Additional considerations are: time, safety and budget.

The sterilization methods series can help you make an informed decision. It includes 12 blog posts and covers 9 different sterilization methods that can be divided into two major categories: heat and non-heat sterilization methods.

Sterilization methods that use heat can be further sub-categorized into:

Non-heat sterilization methods are further divided into four categories of low temperature methods that use gas:

The last category is physical sterilization methods:

This table summarizes each method:

 

Sterilization Methods Summary Table

This infographic provides a visual overview of each method.

Sterilization Methods Infographic

The sterilization methods series has come to an end. We’d like to hear from you and learn which is your preferred sterilization method and why. Please post your answers in the comments section below.