- Nichrome wire:
The Rolls-Royce of inoculating loops (shown
above). The nichrome-wire loop resists deterioration with repeated
heat/cooling cycles needed to sterilize the loop before each use. Most
scientific supply houses sell nichrome-wire loops for a few dollars
each. Often the metal based has a threaded screw on one end to which a
loop can be attached (shown in bottom half of the image).
- Disposable plastic loops:
One use only. Come pre-packaged and
sterilized, ready for use.
- Sterile wooden sticks:
Can purchase already sterilized, or place
in containers of choice and sterilize before use.
Toothpicks from the store can be sealed in
aluminum foil and sterilized. Use each toothpick only once to transfer
or streak microbial material onto agar plates. The toothpicks are
frequently too short to be used to inoculate broth cultures.
Sterilizing an inoculating loop and
Streaking Agar Plates