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What Sterilisation Methods are Best for You

EtO & Steam Sterilisation Methods

When deciding to sterilise medical devices and instruments there are many service options available. This poses the question – what sterilisation methods should you use? Andersen Caledonia focuses on two main forms of sterilisation; Ethylene Oxide sterilisation (EtO/eo) and Steam sterilisation. These two methods of disinfection provide multiple benefits for the end-user. However, it may not be easy to know what one you should use. This article will outline the process and benefits of both to help you choose a sterilisation method.

EtO Sterilisation Methods

Ethylene Oxide sterilisation (also known as eo sterilisation) is a low-temperature technique that uses EtO gas. This is to eliminate viable microorganisms present on medical instruments and devices. The sterile eo process begins with preconditioning where items are heated and humidified at an elevated temperature. Sterilisation then begins which involves the application of EtO gas being released into the chamber where the items are. The final stage is aeration to make certain that all EtO gas particles are removed from the medical device. 

Advantages of EtO: 

1. Effectiveness – eliminates all microorganisms leaving a fully sterile device

2. High chamber capacity – a large volume of items can be sterilised at once

3. Does not damage item – EtO is the only method that does not impact heat or pressure-sensitive products during the sterilisation process

Steam Sterilisation Methods

Steam sterilisation is a method in which items are exposed to steam under pressure and high temperatures. The steam, time, and temperature which are applied to items kill any microorganisms that may be evident on medical devices and instruments. Items are loaded into an autoclave to which steam is released at the appropriate pressure and temperature for the required time. Steam sterilisation can be used for the decontamination of many items. For example, gels and liquids, medical devices, and orthopaedic implants. 

Advantages of Steam sterilisation:

1. Eradicates resistant microorganisms 

2. A non-toxic process that reduces contamination/biological reactions

3. Fast sterilization method 

Andersen Caledonia’s Sterilisation Services

Andersen Caledonia is the largest independent supplier of Contract Sterilisation in the UK and Ireland. Contact us to find out what we can do to solve your company’s sterilisation needs.



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