Microwave sterilization of polyethylene catheters for intermittent self-catheterization

Aust N Z J Surg. 1993 Mar;63(3):203-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.1993.tb00519.x.


A standard household 650 W microwave oven was used to sterilize polyethylene catheters of the type used for intermittent self-catheterization. The catheters were infected with Proteus sp. bacteria and microwaved at 650 W for periods of 2, 4, 6 and 8 minutes. The effect of microwaving was assessed by determining the resultant colony counts following catheter culture. It was determined that 6 minutes of microwaving were required to achieve sterility. It is suggested that use of a microwave oven is a reliable and cost-effective method of sterilizing polyethylene catheters for intermittent self-catheterization.

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization*
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Microwaves* / therapeutic use*
  • Polyethylenes
  • Proteus Infections / therapy*
  • Self Administration
  • Sterilization*


  • Polyethylenes