Bowie-Dick Test Strip (RRS 14-11220)

The Vacuum test of autoclave devices was developed by Dr. J. Bowie and Mr. J. Dick and was first published in the in 1963.

RRS Bowie-Dick Test designed to check the steam sterilizer’s performance. This is a daily test that detects any failure in sterilization process such as sterilizer air leaks, poor steam and inadequate vacuum, time and temperature. The test also evaluates steam penetration into the hollow and porous loads. 

The evaluated parameters

  • Incompatible gases
  • Quality and vapor permeability and temperature
  • Vapor penetration into packs and high thickness material

RRS Bowie-Dick Test Strips

Bowie-Dick test is a yellow 6-dot strip. This test is used before sterilizing non-porous or tubular materials.The test set contains a stainless steel helix chamber and a 4.5 meters tube which simulate vacuum condition in a sterilizer. A type 2 test strip will be placed in the chamber. This test should be performed daily in the empty sterilizer. The yellow color of the indicator have to turn black completely to make sure of sterilizer’s accurate function. The RRS test strip holder includes the following parts:

– cap and grooved plastic pieces

– Metal body

– Narrow spiral 4.5 meters tube

Instructions for Bowie-Dick RRS

  1. The 6-dot yellow test strip should bend in the middle. the part with the yellow indicator is placed inwards (Figure 1).
  2. Insert the bent part into the groove of the plastic piece (Figure 2).
  3. Close the cap of the metal container (Figure 3).
  4. Place the Bowie-Dick containing the marker in the surgical towels (Figure 4).
  5. Place the Bowie-Dick and the surgical towels in the empty autoclave chamber.
  6. When the autoclave cycle is done, take out the 6-dot indicator and evaluate it. The color change is permanent and the test strips can be documented.

Instructions for Bowie-Dick Test Strips (RRS 14-11220)


The yellow color of the indicator have to turn black .fully to make sure of sterilizer’s accurate function. If the color does not change or brown spots are observed, the device must be controlled in terms of the mentioned parameters.

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