- Oct 2, 2016
An autoclave is the only machine that can truly 100% sterilize.How would a microwave not sterilize?
Imo its no differrent than an oven.
Microwaves differ from ovens because they use volumetric heating - energy is distributed evenly throughout the matter being heated. Ovens heat the matter from the contact surface and heat is then transferred inwards and the speed depends on the makeup of the matter and also the thickness which means decontamination times vary and may be less efficient.
Autoclaves use a similar process to ovens to sterilize, but the differences between an oven and an autoclave are steam, pressure, and the ability to remove existing (potentially contaminated) air from the enclosure. What takes 5 minutes to sterilize in an autoclave using steam would take over an hour in a dry-heat oven
(assuming the environment is correct for the oven to sterilize to begin with). When it comes to steam in an autoclave, there's "dry" steam (which has a humidity of less than 3%) and "wet" steam (greater than 3%) - the lower the humidity, the more energy transfer is reduced and the process then takes longer. Obviously autoclaves are much more efficient than microwaves - but for cleaning moist substrate I'd prefer a microwave over an oven because the moisture in the sub will create its own steam and that humidity is better contained in a microwave.
And since the original question was how to dry sub, yes, technically an oven will work better as contained humidity will make it take longer to dry out completely but a microwave will do so evenly and it will be cleaner in the process
Also your house will not smell like dirt. Which it does when cooking potting soil in the oven so I'm sure substrate would be no different.