When injuries happen, most people are usually caught off-guard. I remember when I was riding my bike on a rainy day towards home when I slipped and fell on a trench. A passerby came to my rescue but I had a glass splinter in my hand. It was very painful and I couldn’t contemplate what to do at that moment. So I headed home and all I found was an old sewing needle that could help remove the glass splinter. However, I was wondering how to sterilize a needle to ensure that it is safe to use?
Well, if you have encountered such a scenario then you need to know how to sterilize a needle. Read on and find out.
How to sterilize a needle?
Sterilization is killing harmful microorganisms by subjecting them to an environment that they can’t endure. It can be done through heat application or the use of chemicals. There are many methods that you can use to sterilize a needle. I will focus on the most practical way that you achieve this process at home without using advanced equipment. Therefore, let’s have a look at how to sterilize a needle.
Step 1: Preparation
Well, before you start sterilizing the needle you need to prepare adequately for it. Start by wearing gloves before you handle the needle. You should also ensure your working surface is clear. Ensure the equipment that you will require are in place. You will need a pair of thongs/tweezers, bleaching agents, clean cloth and gloves.
You can now take a pair of thongs and pick the Needle from the surface. Place it in a metal container and add some water.
Step 2: Steaming
Steaming is one of the cheapest and the simplest method of sterilizing a needle. You can do it conveniently at home. No living thing can thrive beyond 120 ° Celsius.
Therefore, after putting water and the needle in a steaming pot you should place it on a furnace. Cover the lid and let it steam for approximately 20 minutes. You might need to have an autoclave which is a special tool that is used in sterilizing needles through steaming. You can now remove your needle using a pair of thongs and place it on a clean cloth.
Step 3: Bake the needle
After wrapping the needle in the clean cloth you need to place it on an oven for one hour at 340 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the most effective ways in which you can ensure that all the microorganisms are dead. Needles that are used in tattoos, piercing, or for medical use should be placed in an oven because if you opt to dry heat then it becomes brittle.
Step 4: Pass it over the fire
The easiest way of using heat to sterilize the needle is by passing it over and opens flame. Hold it using a pair of tweezers and position it above the flame top to ensure it gets heated. Don’t let it get burnt. You need to be cautious when doing it because too much exposure to heat might cause the needle to break.
Step 5: Place the needle in rubbing alcohol
By now your needle is almost ready to be used. After removing from oven place it in a sterilized gauze pad which has been dipped in alcohol. This is a very important step especially if you are using the needle to remove splinters that are close to the skin. You should also use the alcohol to disinfect the pair of thongs that you used in picking the needle to ensure the contamination route of microorganisms is cut off.
Step 6: Rinse the needle
After using alcohol to sterilize your needle you need to rinse it before your store in a clean and dry place. If you intend to use it right away then you will be using a well-sterilized needle. You can rinse the needle using 5% chlorine. It is a bleaching agent that ensures the needle is effectively sterilized. If you don’t have chlorine you can use hydrogen peroxide or ethanol.
Step 7: Clean the syringe
After ensuring the needle is clean you would also want to clean the syringe by filling it with clean water. Shake the syringe for approximately one minute before discarding the water through its nozzle. This ensures any dirt that had been trapped is cleaned before you advance to the next step.
Step 8: Disinfect the syringe
Disinfection is very important because it helps in killing the pathogens that we cants see with our eyes. So what do you do? Fill a container with a bleaching agent and draw it using a straw. Shake it for approximately one minute and discard the bleaching agent from the syringe.
Step 9: Rise the syringe
When you have disinfected the syringe you can now rinse it using clean water. Draw clean water from a container and shake the syringe before discarding it from the syringe. You can repeat this procedure twice to ensure the syringe has been effectively cleaned.
It is important to understand that needle that has been used for medical use should not be re-used. Even if you opt to sterilize it don’t use it for injection because it requires advanced sterilization using medical equipment. Therefore, the needle that you have sterilized at home can be used for minor cases such as removing splinters.
Additionally, if a sterilized needle is placed on unsterile surfaces it ceases being sterile.
By now you know how to sterilize a needle. Therefore, If you need to sterilize a needle to remove shallow splinter then the most viable option is using steam or boiling. However, if you have a splinter that has been embedded deep into your skin you should seek medical help so that doctors can help you in removing it. This is to minimize the risk of infection.
Generally, sterilization of needle is a precautionary measure before you use it. Choose a method that you are comfortable with. Ensure to wash your hands using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol before using the sterilized needle. Always hold the non-pointed end to ensure the pointed part remains sterile all through. This is one of the most effective and simple methods that you can minimize infections. I hope it’s clear now and you know how to sterilize a needle.
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