Ensure that wrapper provides protection against contact contamination.
Ensure that wrapper is not too tight.
a. Packaging Material. Paper, plastic, or fabric materials are used to wrap
items for steam or gas sterilization. The packaging materials for all methods of
(1) Allow penetration of the sterilizing agent so that all items in the package
are totally sterilized.
Allow the release of the sterilizing agent at the end of the exposure
(3) Filter out dust particles and microorganisms and allow contents to
remain sterile from the time removed from sterilizer until used.
(4) Not cracked or be easily torn or punctured. If accidental tears and holes
do occur, they must be visible.
Not absorb moisture from the surrounding environment.
(7) Be economical and readily available. Recommended packaging
materials for articles to be sterilized are shown in Table 3-3.
b. Applying Packaging Material. The wrapping of packages and individual
articles should be done in a room far enough removed from the sterile storage area that
mixing sterile and non-sterile is not possible. Non-sterile cabinets should be noticeably
labeled as non-sterile. The procedure for sending items to the sterilizer, and receiving
them from it should be set up so that sterile and non-sterile packages can never be
confused en route. Muslin is the most frequently used packaging material and
furthermore it has many advantages. Paper and plastic are increasingly used; paper
and plastic are used in disposables. Muslin is in double thickness; packages are
wrapped in two layers of double-thickness muslin (four thicknesses) to provide sufficient
dust filter and microbial barrier. Figure 3-15 illustrates wrapping an article in
double-thickness muslin. Other materials must provide the same or better protection.
Figure 3-16 illustrates paper/plastic wrapper. The visible wrapper is paper; the reverse
side is clear plastic.