If in need of a refresher, review this aseptic technique video.
Remember to turn on your biosafety cabinet at least 15 minutes before use. Wipe it down with kim-wipes and 70% ethanol. Wipe the cabinet from left to right and back to front to follow the laminar flow if you are right-handed, vice versa if you are left-handed. This technique will prevent you from passing over the area that you have just cleaned. Remember that ethanol is toxic to cells and if sprayed on surfaces that come in contact with the cells, can be detrimental to the cell culture success.
Be sure to generously spray everything to be placed in biosafety cabinet with 70% ethanol. Allow your gloves and other materials to dry to give ethanol time to kill bacteria and other contaminants (trick: sing happy birthday to yourself before using anything you have sprayed in).
Another aseptic technique is that you should not pass your hands or anything else over any open containers. Minimize the number of containers that are open. To help avoid this, work from right to left (if right-handed), or left to right (if left-handed).
Place caps bottom up towards the back of the biosafety cabinet.
Minimize waste and other supplies in the biosafety cabinet to minimize disruption of airflow.
When pipetting, if pipette touches anything outside of a sterile container, use a new pipette. When in doubt, use a new pipette. When changing media, change pipettes at a minimum of every 3 – 4 flasks.
These general aseptic techniques will help decrease the chance of contamination and ensure that your experiment stays on schedule. Click here for more cell culture tips and tricks.