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Old 07-09-2019, 09:51 PM
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Ravage Ravage is offline
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Default Re: sterilizing FF culture cups

My method is pretty similar to many mentioned, but a bit different too, so I thought I'd add some thoughts.
When a culture has stopped producing I freeze it. For 3 days, that's the time it takes to get spores and mite eggs (below zero F). I let them thaw for 15 minutes, which is long enough to thaw the very outside of the gross mess inside the cups. I can then "spin" the whole wad out in on piece. The stuff that clings: I let the cups sit for a few days (I wash once a week or two). The remaining gross matter is dry and can be removed by knocking the container on a table. Throw the flakes away.
I wash the cups and lids by hand with plain dish soap. The key is to wear Playtex gloves and wash (and rinse) in as hot of water as possible. I wash the lids first and use a sponge/scrubbie to clean the mesh with the sponge and the top with the scrubbie side. This takes off the sharpie date/species label off quite well in super hot water. The gloves make this possible.
Air dry and then spray with 70% isopropyl alcohol. a cheapo spray bottle works well. Get the surfaces wet with the rubbing alcohol, and then air dry again, stack and repeat. You can wipe off the alcohol with a tissue if you want but it should dry without residue.
91% isopropyl does not work better than 70% for surface sterilization, so save the buck a bottle. it's what I use with mushrooms and it works fine (easier on the skin as well).
I keep growing cultures in a completely different room than producing cultures (same with mushrooms, standard protocol) and haven't seen mites in quite some time.
Lots of good suggestions here, so I think the reader can pick and choose techniques that make sense for them.
Edit: I use micron filters for mushrooms in the jar stage, they are excellent but expensive, and likely overkill for fruit flies.
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Last edited by Ravage; 07-09-2019 at 09:52 PM. Reason: additional thought
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