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Whiter Whites and Abated Amplicon Contamination

Shoba Anantha at Bitesize Bio says that the most effective way the reduce amplicon contamination in labs running PCR is to "get the bleach out." She references a 1992 study by Andrus and Prince that reports a dilution of household bleach as more effective at destroying DNA detectable by PCR than 2.0 N HCl. Anantha suggests that a 10 to 100x dilution of commercial bleach, such as Clorox, should be used to wipe down every surface in the lab. "Generously spray workstations/equipment/pipettes with 10 percent bleach, then let it sit for 15-30 minutes (coffee break time!). Then wipe up the bleach and follow up with a water rinse and wipe," she says, adding that "this procedure should be carried [out] before and after each PCR, and definitely after a spill. I religiously stick to a weekly cleaning routine of all of my PCR equipment and workspace and that has gone a long way to preventing amplicon contamination."

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