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Chemical Indicators for Autoclaves (Steam)

Steam sterilisation (or autoclaving) is carried out by introducing saturated water vapour under pressure. In addition to the temperature effect itself, the presence of saturated water vapour is essential for killing microorganisms, their destruction being due to irreversible denaturation of cell components. Chemical indicators for autoclaves (steam)

Product description

Chemical indicators (CI) register as many relevant sterilisation parameters as possible, such as, for example, air expulsion and steam penetration ability, temperature, pressure and time. Chemical indicators consist of a coloured chemical compound deposited as dots on a paper strip. This chemical compound has the property that it changes colour from light blue to black when the value of the critical physical parameters for sterilisation has been attained.

Chemical indicators are a good supplement to biological indicators and must be used daily to provide rapid indication of whether the critical parameters were correct during sterilisation. However, they are no substitute for biological indicators. Only the biological indicators can be used for measuring the efficacy of the sterilisation process.

Chemical indicators are class 5 indicators, which are produced in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 11140-1 standard.

By using chemical indicators you protect your staff and patients from bacterial infections transferred from non-sterilised utensils

Our indicators are of high quality. We are following the guidelines from NIR to secure the highest standard of your sterilisation process.

Chemical Indicators are your daily quality check of your autoclave

Easy to interpret as it is chemical reaction causing a colour change

How to use

For each sterilisation process, attainment of the value of the critical physical parameters, such as temperature, time, and pressure shown on the printout from the steriliser must be verified. Any deviations from the set parameters must immediately result in determination of the cause and rectification of the error.

Further, the use of chemical indicators serves to prove that the value of the critical parameters has been attained inside the items autoclaved. This means that the chemical indicators must be positioned in places regarded as challenging to sterilise.

After the sterilisation process has ended, the chemical indicators can be read immediately for correct colour occur. Only if the chemical indicator has changed completely to the final colour may the result be interpreted as evidence of attainment of the critical parameter values in the process at the place where the chemical indicator was positioned. 

Chemical Indicators can be used with different types of process challenge devices (PCDs), depending on the type of autoclave. The PDC should be replaced after 200 operating cycles.

Product range

Article numberProductPacking
83161Chemical indicator for steam + PCD
(PP/PTFE 2x3x1500 mm tube) for Class B autoclave
200 units
90242Chemical indicator for steam for Class N and Class S autoclaves200 units


Please find the available downloads here.


Click on the link below to download the IFU.

Chemical Indicators, Steam

Simpler for the better

If you work within the field of microbiology, you might be familiar with Occam’s Razor. At SSI Diagnostica, we champion a slightly adapted version of this principle: The simplest solution is usually the best one.


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