Spore Testing FAQ
Tests are processed the same day they are received, followed by an incubation period. The length of the incubation period is as follows:
Steam Autoclaves - 1 business day
Chemical sterilizers (such as Harvey Chemiclave) - 3 business days
Dry Heat and EtO sterilizers - 7 days
Satisfactory results are reported and available on the final day of incubation. Unsatisfactory tests may be reported sooner than these times, after undergoing a secondary confirmation step.
Weekly testing is recommended by the CDC, ADA, OSAP, and AAMI. However, many state dental boards have set their own requirements. Click here for your state’s dental regulations.
The CDC also recommends testing when a new type of packaging material is used, after training new sterilization personnel, after a sterilizer has been repaired, and after any change in your sterilizer loading procedures.
Generally the spore strip should be placed in the center of your sterilizer, or wherever you are placing the equipment to be sterilized. If you are using a multi-test kit, the second strip should be placed in a difficult to sterilize location, such as in the back of the autoclave or a hard to reach location.
The purpose of the test is to verify that your normal sterilization procedure is successful, so treat the test strip like you would any other load. Please refer to your sterilizer’s manual for recommended settings.
Yes. Our test strips are rated for use in both gravity and pre-vacuum sterilizers and for steam temperatures up to 132°C (270° F)
Test kits should be mailed back as soon as possible, ideally the same day the test is run in your sterilizer.
The make, model, and serial number should be printed on the back or side of the sterilizer, usually near the power cord. It may also be found on the inner surface of the sterilizer, behind the door.
Yes. Several different types of chemical indicators are available, and should be used with every sterilizer run. Although chemical indicators verify that specific parameters have been met, they do not verify that sterilization has taken place. If the chemical indicator parameters are not met, the batch should be considered non-sterile and rerun with a new indicator.
You can expect your kit to be delivered within 5-7 business days with standard shipping via USPS First Class Mail. For urgent orders, upgraded shipping is available for delivery in 1-3 days via USPS priority mail express. We only charge actual postage costs and do not charge a handling fee.
The strips are inoculated with two types of non-pathogenic bacteria, Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus. Neither strain of bacteria are harmful to humans.
Yes, you can find the expiration date printed on your test envelopes. Please ensure that you return the test envelope before the printed expiration. We can not process expired test envelopes.
All SporeAlert kits are designed to provide one year of service and come with strips which expire more than one year in the future.
Yes, simply secure the strip in the wrapper with a paper clip and mail it in the testing envelope as normal. This occasionally happens with dry heat sterilizers, but there is little to no risk of the strip being contaminated with the specific strains of bacteria that the strip will be tested for.
If you have more than one sterilizer to monitor, you will need to order one test kit per sterilizer as each sterilizer will need an independent tracking number for reporting purposes.
A multi-strip kit allows a more complete picture of how your sterilizer is functioning. By placing one strip in the center of the unit, and one strip in a difficult to sterilize location, any issues can be identified sooner than with just the center strip. We recommend multi-strip kits if you frequently run your autoclave with a full load.
Yes, just follow these steps:
- Log on to your account at WoodhouseLabs.com
- Go to Your Sterilizers page
- Find the old sterilizer and click edit.
- Change make, model, serial number and type of your old sterilizer to the new sterilizer information.
Your envelopes are printed with the original sterilizer information, but your results will reflect the new sterilizer from that point forward.