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Elephantos Reviews with

Sterility, how and why

The famous Dennis B

By Dennis Blanc,
Last update: January 30, 2019

The proceedings during the magic mushroom cultivation are not difficult. There is one important aspect though and that is sterile work.

Mushroom growkits are easy

If you read this page carefully, our mushroom growkits will not be that difficult to use.

Sterile work is a must, when it comes to growing magic mushrooms in a professional manner.

growing magic mushrooms in a professional manner

If, during one of the steps, you don’t work sterile, the harvest will fail. The problem is that you will not find out until a few weeks after, when you realise the magic mushrooms are not growing.


A mushroom is a species of fungus.


A fungus is a microorganism.


Microorganisms are organisms, which can only be seen with a microscope.
All unicellular organisms, like bacteria, fungi, protozoa's, yeast and unicellular algae are microorganisms

A mushroom fungus only grows, when it's not hindered by other more dominant microorganisms such as bacteria.
This means that you can only grow mushrooms in a substrate, free from any microorganisms other than the desired mushroom fungi.

grow mushrooms in a substrate

Only under these circumstances can the mushroom fungus grow undisturbed and free!

If there is another, more dominant microorganism present, it will expand faster than the mushroom fungus, leaving it with no space to grow.
This is called contamination of the substrate.

Therefore, the substrate where the mushrooms grow, needs to be sterilized in advance.
The substrate is exposed to high temperatures, so that all bacteria and other microorganisms are killed.

growkit substrate growkit with mycelium

After this, the mushroom spores can be administered to the substrate, so that these microorganisms can multiply undisturbed.

Pay attention!

When the mushroom growth process is in progress, you can easily contaminate the substrate.

This happens as soon as the substrate comes in contact with microorganisms, such as e.g. bacteria.
This can happen as soon as you touch the substrate with non-sterile equipment or non-sterile hands.
Once you touch the substrate, even slightly, with for example a non-sterile fork or with your fingers, the substrate is already infected.
Even a hair or a small amount of saliva from your mouth can contaminate the substrate.

As soon as a bacteria is on the substrate, it will multiply very fast until the entire substrate is full of bacteria and there is no space left for the magic mushrooms to grow.

What is sterile?:

Sterile means free from bacteria or other microorganisms.

How do I make my tools sterile?:

The tools used in mushroom cultivation, such as scissors, tweezers and knife must be sterile.
This can be done by means of professional equipment such as an autoclave.
But this can also be done by simply boiling your tools in a pan of water for 30 min.

boiling your tools in a pan of water

Sterilizing small equipment like a scissor, etc, can also be done with a flame to kill all the bacteria.

Pay attention!

When you are using sterile tools, but bring them in contact with non-sterile surfaces, such as a table, then the tool is no longer sterile. Chances are very high that the tool is full of harmful bacteria. You must sterilize the tool again.

done with a flame to kill all the bacterias

How do I work sterile enough for mushroom cultivation? offers two different ways to grow magic mushrooms:

  1. Magic mushroom grow kits

magic mushroom growkits

These mushroom grow kits are ready for use.

grow kit in a filter

The only thing you have to do, is place the grow kit in a filter
bag free of external microorganisms. Relatively little can go
wrong during this process.

The only actions that can contaminate the growth substrate
with other microorganisms, is when putting the kit in the spawnbag and during the harvesting of mushrooms.

Everything will go well if you wash your hands with
anti-bacterial soap.

wash your hands with sterle soap

Even better, is using new sterile gloves.

new sterile gloves

Be sure not to touch anything else but the container.

hands/coves can get bacterias from the bag

Even if you touch the outside of the filter bag with clean hands or sterile gloves, your hands/gloves can get bacterias from the bag and you cannot touch the substrate anymore before washing your hands or change gloves again.

  1. The more professional way of cultivating magic mushrooms, by using for example the PF TEK technique.

The same rules apply here, only the proceedings here are more complicated.
Apart from sterile tools, it is also necessary to create a "clean" work environment and especially to wear sterile clothing such and mask, hairnet, sterile sleeves, sterile apron,etc.

wear sterile clothing such and mask, hairnet, sterile sleeves, sterile apron,etc

This is to avoid bacteria from getting on the substrate.
Even coughing, dropping an eyelash or other hairs, or when a tiny bit of saliva falls on the substrate while you are speaking can prove fatal for the end result.

The products, sold by, for the different cultivation techniques can be easily used with your common house tools.
The walls of a bathroom can be made reasonably free of bacteria.
Instead of using an expensive autoclave you can do it with a normal pan or a pressure cooker.

do it with a normal pan or a pressure cooker

The more professional breeder uses a HEPA filter.

HEPA filter

This filter is hung above the workplace and its mechanism sucks the air through the filter and blows out air that is guaranteed free of microorganisms.

expensive HEPA filter

This filter is useful but with the mushroom grow supplies of, you can also manage without this very expensive filter.