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Using the right labels for your autoclave and sterilisation processes

Autoclave and sterilisation vial with resistant label stuck to it

Oliver StocktonWritten by Oliver Stockton, Managing Director, CILS



Laboratories frequently contact us for durable, removable labels that will resist autoclave and sterilisation processes. Laboratory plastic and glassware such as Petri dishes, glass beakers, etc. need labels that will resist common autoclave practices used in Microbiology laboratories, where labware is exposed to temperatures reaching up to 121°C for various durations.

The labels are often applied to curved surfaces and usually need to be removed easily after sterilisation. This is quite a challenging set of criteria for a durable label.

Only a label made from polyester will give the durability needed to resist autoclave temperatures, which limits the number of labels available on the market. The label adhesive also needs to be acrylic and carefully selected to ensure the elevated temperature of sterilisation does not ‘cure’ or bond the adhesive onto the labware and make the label permanent and difficult to remove.

Durable polyester removable labels on the market are generally found in label catalogues, but they are not always created specifically for autoclave and sterilisation use, and so may fail when used. Also, because of the varying sterilisation methods used, and different durations labware is sterilised for, the labels may work for one laboratory process but not another.

CILS Managing Director Oliver Stockton commented:

  We have gained over 30 years of experience working with laboratories around the world and have developed CILS 8100R thermal transfer printable and CILS 9100R laser printable autoclave and sterilisation labels. Customers have told us that these labels are very versatile and remain removable in the majority of autoclave processes."

The key to getting the right label first-time is to request samples that you can trial, which we are always happy to provide free of charge anywhere in the world.

If you wish to evaluate our autoclave and sterilisation labels, just call, email, or fill in a form on our website or use live chat, and we will send you some samples.

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