Moist heat controls microbial growth by C. denaturing proteins.
Moist heat destroys microbes by denaturing their essential proteins. Once proteins are denatured, they can no longer function. Surgical instruments must be microbe-free. Using an autoclave is an excellent method for destroying microbes by employing moist heat, or steam, under high pressure. Autoclaves generally function best at a temperature of 121 C and pressure of 15 psi for a time of 15 minutes. Autoclaves are basically highly efficient pressure cookers. Thermal death rate or TDT of microbes is the term used for the time it takes an autoclave to kill a microbial population.