There are a number of ways to sterilise cutting implements. Some of them can
be done easily at home, some can't. There are also a few misconceptions here.
Again, a note to say I'm neither a doctor, a nurse, or any other relevantly-degreed
Often assumed to be good for sterilisation. In reality, it kills some bacteria.
But it isn't particularly effective against virii and there are a fair number
of hardy bacteria that alcohol doesn't kill. Plus to be effective, it has
to be a min. of 60% ABV (120 proof) to be of any use, with 75% ABV (150 proof)
or more preferred. It also should be applied for a min of 15 seconds. Even
so, after centuries of use, many virii and some bacteria are far more resistant
than they used to be.
Can't be done at home, 'nuff said. Well OK, it *could* be done at home, but
the equipment's a wee bit pricey.
Min 6% concentration, soak the blade in it for 6 hours. Clean with sterile
(boiled and allowed to cool completely) water.
The same stuff you put in your swimming pool. Chlorine Dioxide works well
when it comes to chemical sterilisation, again immersion for 6 hours is minimum.
Again, clean with sterile water.
HEAT APPLIED TO THE BLADE
As Karl rightly said, it can possibly fuck the temper of a decent blade but
if you just want to get one more use from a razor blade or scalpel, it'll
not be a problem. The tempering issue is more to do with long-term usability,
edge holding, and resharpening properties than the actual edge sharpness itself.
The other thing is that tempering is done at temps. above 300degF/148degC
or thereabouts) for the most common of "stainless" steels (alloy
440C) and better quality non-stainless carbon steels are done at much higher
So losing the temper isn't really that much of a concern. Heating the blade
can be done with:
- direct flame, the classic
- boiled water immersion (212degF/100degC)
- steam in an autoclave/high pressure environment.
This will kill off the vast majority of bacteria spores and virii. Just remember
that the blade must be fully cooled before use (allow a good few hours) and
bear in mind that it might *possibly* mess with the tempering of a knife's
These are often used to clean the wound itself, but I can't say as I've found
them necessary. Regular soap and water does the trick to keep a wound clean.
Some also advocate using alcohol directly on the wound. Fun if you like pain,
but a waste of good booze if it is drinkable, and a waste of time anyway.
Just remember that wipes/booze/etc. are disinfectants not sterilising agents.
The reason they're used is that you can't pour strong bleach or irradiate
human tissue without negative effects, so as far as cleaning the wounds go,
they're as good as you can get but aren't good enough to truly sterilise a
This article is presented as part of an ongoing
effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online
vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this
article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily
be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update
or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most
importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or
any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use
your own reasoning and judgment.