8.7.5 Unloading the Autoclave

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before unloading the chamber.

  • Do not open the autoclave while the chamber is pressurized, released steam can cause severe burns.
  • Wear heat-resistant gloves, safety glasses/goggles and a laboratory coat when removing items.
  • Wait until the autoclave has cooled prior to opening the door.  Most autoclaves have safety interlocks that prevent the door from opening when the temperature inside is greater than 80°C; however, a puff of steam may be ejected if the autoclave is opened immediately after the cycle.
  • Avoid standing directly in front of the autoclave door when it is opened after a run.
  • Handle waste containers containing liquids with care to avoid being burned by hot liquid splashes or spills.  Liquids should be allowed to cool for 20 minutes before transport to prevent sudden eruption from the containment vessel.