Medically the evaluation by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — composed by Corey Whelan on may 21, 2019

There room a number of reasons you might need to sterilize needles at home, such together for the removed of shallow wood, metal, or glass splinters.

You are watching: How to sterilize a needle for piercing

If you great to sterilize a needle of any type at home, keep in mind the disinfecting and sterilizing space not the same thing.

Disinfection reduces epidemic risk, however doesn’t remove it. That’s due to the fact that disinfection can greatly reduce the quantity of bacteria on one object, but does not remove it completely.

When done correctly, sterilization procedures can completely remove all types of bacteria and also other potentially harmful microbe from needles.

Keep in mind the the air discovered in houses is not sterile. For a sterilized needle to remain sterile, it need to be preserved in one air-tight container, which has also been sterilized.

Never usage a needle, sterilized or not, to popular music a pimple or boil. And also if you have a deep splinter, check out a doctor rather of do the efforts to remove it yourself. The can aid reduce your threat for epidemic or additional injury.


According come the Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention (CDC), moist warmth is the most effective way to sterilize needles. That’s due to the fact that of its capacity to kill microorganisms.

In a clinical setting, autoclave devices may be offered to sterilize needles or other medical equipment by pressurizing saturated steam. These machines are really expensive and may not be useful for at-home use.

Sterilizing needles v boiling water is not as efficient as making use of pressurized steam, and does not administer 100 percent sterilization. That does, however, kill many microorganisms. Boiling is not enough to kill heat-resistant bacteria, such as endospores.

To disinfect a needle at residence through boiling:

Use a pot that has been scrupulous cleaned v disinfectant soap and hot water. Placed the needle right into the pot and bring the water come a rolling boil of at the very least 200°F (93.3°C).Boil the needle for at the very least 30 minutes before use.Wearing new surgical or latex gloves, remove the needle from the pot through a disinfected or formerly sterilized instrument.It’s no recommended the you boil needles that will be provided for injection. If you should disinfect a syringe needle for reuse, cook it because that at least one hour before use.

Rubbing alcohol might be enough for the purpose of sterilizing a needle you planning to usage to remove splinters situated close to the skin’s surface.

To sterilize a needle because that this purpose:

Immerse the needle in the rubbing alcohol or clean it with a sterilized gauze pad that’s been dipped in alcohol. Wash your hands thoroughly and put on surgical or unused latex gloves.After removed the splinter, make certain to extensively disinfect and also cover the area.

The CDC doesn’t recommend using rubbing alcohol come sterilize needles or syringes used for injections. They also don’t recommend using alcohol come sterilize clinical equipment.

However, you have the right to use alcohol to clean your skin prior to an injection. This includes both ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. Neither systems is able to kill bacterial spores, yet in full-strength, high concentrations, both have actually antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

Rubbing alcohol additionally evaporates easily on surfaces, make it feasible for bacterial expansion to rapidly happen or reoccur.


Sterilizing a needle in fire walk not carry out complete protection from bacteria and other organisms. It may be ok because that splinter removal, however this an approach should never ever be offered for syringe needles.

If you going to sterilize a needle in flame, such together from a lighter or stove, follow this steps:

Use a fire the does not create much residue, such together a butane lighter.Hold the needle into the flame through the assist of an instrument, such together tweezers or pliers, until the pointer of the needle glows red. It will certainly be exceptionally hot to the touch.Remove any char residue top top the needle v a sterilized gauze pad.You can likewise bake needles in a 340°F (171.1°C) stove for one hour. This process will do needles brittle over time.

Bleach is not recommended because that sterilizing needles offered for splinter removal, or for sterilizing clinical needles and syringes.

Bleach will not completely disinfect this equipment. The can additionally dull needle points over time.


Salt water, such together the water found in the ocean, is not sterile. No is water from the tap, even if you put salt into it.

To use salt water come disinfect — no sterilize — a needle because that splinter removal, you must start with sterile water.

However, this isn’t a fool-proof system and also should no be offered for medical needles. Additionally, you must only usage this method if a much more effective sterilization an approach is no available.

To disinfect a needle you planning to usage to eliminate a shallow splinter:

Mix eight ounces of sterilized water through one fifty percent teaspoon that non-iodized salt, in a sterile container and lid.Drop the needle in.Remove the needle native the water while wearing surgical gloves.

Needles to plan for clinical use have to be provided only one time, and not reused. If you have to reuse a needle, sterilization deserve to be tried at home, yet will never provide a complete, 100 percent guarantee.

New needles come pack in sterilized packaging. They stop to be totally sterile once they struggle the air, and also should be used as quickly as feasible after unwrapping.

New needles the touch unsterile surfaces, such together a table or your hands, room no longer sterile. Make certain to extensively wash your hands, and to use new surgical gloves prior to use.

See more: From Where Do Chemotrophs Get Energy? ? From Where Do Chemotrophs Get Energy

Steam or cook water is the best means to sterilize a needle she planning to usage for the removed of a shallow splinter. If you have actually a deep splinter, you might need to look for medical aid to mitigate your risk of infection.


*

Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA — created by Corey Whelan on might 21, 2019