The best method for sterilizing needles depends on the type of needle and intended use; needles may be sanitized and disinfected using dry heat, steam and high temperatures. Several effective techniques can be used to sterilize needles; these methods vary in the length of time they take to fully sterilize needles. Some needles can be sterilized through exposure to high heat for several minutes, while others may take up to two hours to be fully cleansed.
Sterilization is used to make needles safe for re-use. It is used to kill harmful bacteria and microorganisms by exposing them to substances or extreme temperatures that they cannot endure. When performed properly, sterilization eradicates living microorganisms as well as their spores. Some bacteria are killed more quickly than others, and bacterial spores may outlive inadequate sterilization measures, too. Among the types of needle sterilization methods available, steam sterilization is one of the most common. This technique is used to purify needles used on human skin, such as for acupuncture and tattoos. Steam sterilization is ideal for these needles, which are made of metal, as it does not corrode the needles during the treatment process. Steam sterilization is a nontoxic and inexpensive treatment method that requires a treatment time between 3 and 30 minutes to eradicate pathogens.