Jeffrey Michael Stein (
Sat, 19 Nov 1994 16:01:56 -0500 (EST)

> So I'm taking microbiology and steam heat is the best way to go with
> sterilizing soil. No chemical changes and everything is dead. Your
> significant other, however, will no doubt give you your walking papers
> because the smell is unbelieveable. Bleach has it drawbacks as it
> puts salt in the soil.
Steam is the best way to sterilize soil. However, pressure cooking
(steaming) the soil at home isn't always feasible.. As for bleach
puttings salts in the soil, you don't use the bleach to sterilize the
soil. It is used to sterilize the seeds. In the lab you soak the seeds
in .5% NaOCl (10% bleach solution) for about ten minutes and then rinse
3x (at least) with sterile water. All of this is done in a special air
flow hood. This gets the seeds pretty darn sterile.. This can sort of
be repeated at home, the seeds will be fairly clean, but never sterile..
However, a little cleaner is better than nothing.