The autoclave is a common fixture in many laboratories, making it easy to overlook the hazardous nature of the apparatus. The autoclave’s job is to render contents sterile, or free of any living organisms. Autoclaving is an effective and economical process of killing microbes through the application of moist heat (saturated steam) under pressure. Heat damages the cells essential structures rendering the cell nonviable. Failure to completely sterilize materials unnecessarily raises the risk of serious health hazards.