Why is washing and drying necessary before sterilization?

Why is washing and drying necessary before sterilization?

Civilization has evolved, and technological innovation is remarkable, from steam locomotives to bullet trains and, in the future, linear motor cars.
In the world of sterilization, however, high-pressure steam sterilization (autoclave) still remains the dominant method.
High-pressure steam sterilization is still widely used today because of its low cost and compact size, and because, unlike EOG sterilization, its residues are harmless.

Cleaning before sterilization

Although not limited to high-pressure steam sterilization, cleaning before sterilization is important.
The number and type of microorganisms surviving on the sterilized material is called the bioburden.
Bioverden data is a criterion for manufacturing hygiene control required by GMP.
Proper cleaning can reduce bioverden before sterilization.
To ensure disinfection and sterilization of instruments, they must be thoroughly cleaned beforehand.

Cleaning can reduce the bioburden of the vessel by about 4 logs.
For example, let’s say the bioburden is reduced from 106 (1,000,000) to 102 (100). (See figure above.)
The sooner the number of bacteria is reduced, the sooner the sterility assurance level (SAL-6) can be reached.  

Drying before sterilization

Wet items may not be sterilized.
If the sterilized object is wet from the beginning, the temperature rise will be hindered and the sterilizer will not be evenly distributed to the object, which may lead to sterilization failure.
Moisture is important for sterilization, but not if it is wet from the start.

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