Disposable (plastic) L - Spreaders

Discussion in 'Supporting Biology' started by JHRoss, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    I would like to ask you if there is any way of cleaning the disposable (plastic) L - Spreaders in order to use them again.

  2. Place them in a Beaker of 70% Ethanol for 30 mins to an hour.:)
  3. Autoclave, bin and make yourself glass spreaders!
  4. Well I have googled it and it is always depends on which kind of plastic it is if you want to autoclave a plastic object, the thing is I can't see any symbols on the spreaders (e.g PP for polypropylene) so I assumed you had an idea on which plastic are the disposable spreaders are manufactured with.
  5. On second thoughts I'd have to agree with you Allan simply because Plastic Spreaders are inferior to the Glass Spreaders as a smoth confluent lawn can be produced with a Glass Spreader whereas the Plasic ones can scrape the Agar. However, a fair bit of skill is required in making a good functional Spreader and it is advisable not to try it until you have been taught by a competent Technician.:)
    AllantheTech likes this.
  6. You mean I can autoclave but only once?
  7. Autoclave prior to disposal. Not reuseable. And often poorly made, so that it is difficult to spread the inoculant without digging into the agar. For schoolkids/students, glass spreaders are better as they can obtain a satisfactory result much easier. Once they are conversant, you can transition to industry standard, single-use plastic spreaders. In an ideal world....

    Here's a particularly irritating video on how to make a glass one. Glass rod will probably be better than long nosed Pasteurs.

    Beaker and AllantheTech like this.
  8. Must remember to wear a jumper and nitrile gloves next time I make spreaders. :D:D:D
  9. That's up to you Allan but they may melt. :p But seriously Glass spreaders are easy to make as you know if trained in the task. The only drawback is that if you make a Class set there will invariable be casualties in that some students often carelessly drop the Spreader into the beaker and cause it to break. This never happens with careful and considerate students.:)
  10. they are not sterile either unless you got the expensive ones. Making glass is superior and teaches the right techniques anyway.

    Not sure why they are obsessed with pouring agar and making spread plates though, never made a spread plate in 10 years of QA microbiology, pour plates all the way, well once we got rid of the roll tubes... o_Oo_O (and mouth pipetting :eek:)
    GeorgetheScienceTech likes this.
  11. You're right Paul - Spread Plates aren't used in QA Microbiology. Hovever they are extensively used in Molecular Biology for say Phage Display.:)Why aren't you on your holidays?:)
  12. first day back, pat testing until the BH now. :D
  13. After the sterilisation of the glass spreaders where do I dry them?
  14. No need to sterilise and dry. Dip in ethanol and flame before lawning.
  15. How do I put the used plastic L-spreaders in the autoclave? Any specific way?
  16. Ethanol and flame or autoclave?
  17. I use 'roasting bags' - they're cheap from Poundland...

    Ages ago (when there were two of us) we had the 'bright idea' of autoclaving plastic loops we'd obtained from a kit - (duh)... it was one of those 'oh bugg*r' moments when they melted into a lump... along with everything else in the bag...:rolleyes:
  18. If you are a member of CLEAPSS and not made glass spreaders before they have a make it guide (GL154) which is a good place to start!
    GeorgetheScienceTech likes this.
  19. We use plastic spreaders for student use to avoid having ethanol and Bunsen burners in the same vicinity. I would use a glass one but it has broken so I need to make a new one, I quite enjoy making them when I have the time
  20. What if I just put them in randomly?