Although there exists a desire to eliminate the possibility of cross-infection from microbial contaminated nitrous oxide nasal hoods, effective and practical methods of sterilization in a dental office are unsatisfactory. Microwaves have been used to sterilize certain contaminated dental instruments without damage. In this study nasal hoods contaminated with rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, and herpes simplex virus were sterilized in a modified microwave oven. Ninety-five percent of the virus activity was destroyed after 1 minute of exposure of the contaminated nasal hoods to microwaves. By the end of 4 minutes, complete inactivation of all four viruses was found. Repeated exposure of the nasal hoods to microwaves, resulted in no damage to their texture and flexibility. Microwave sterilization may potentially provide a simple and practical method of sterilizing nitrous oxide anesthesia equipment in a dental or medical practice.