A wide range of sterilization paper covers and tray liners are available, today. Generally made of cellulose, this paper acts as a barrier against bacteria and viruses and is most often used in the packaging of sterile surgical kits. In addition to its antiseptic properties, the paper protects clinical equipment and biomedical material from abrasion and errant liquids. Generally, it is resistant to tearing. Following its use in packaging, the paper retains its sterile and antibacterial properties and thus remains useful for handling and covering equipment.
Sterilization pouches often have a see-through panel of fine plastic so that the clinician can choose the correct item of medical equipment before opening. Certain papers are manufactured so that they are steamed before opening, which reinforces the sterilization process. As the steaming progresses, the paper changes color and the clinician witnesses when the process is complete. Sterile liners and covers should be purchased only from reputable medical companies.