This question was recently asked by a member of a LinkedIn discussion group called Sterile Processing Department Professionals. In response to this questions a few members of the group discussed the concept lining wire basket (instrument trays) with a tray liner. According to the American national Standard published by AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation)AAMIST79, 2010, tray liners can be used to wick condensate away from instruments. This disperses the condensate over a bigger surface facilitating more efficient drying. If an excessive amount absorbent material or the wrong type of material is used it can impede air removal and steam penetration. Participants in the LinkedIn discussion state that they no longer use linen towels to line trays as they contain lint and residual cleaning chemicals. Follow the link to read the rest of the discussion.
AAMIST79 2010. Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities. Arlington Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.