16th March 2017
You cannot imagine a laboratory without laboratory glassware. These are apparatus made from glass with strong resistive properties against reactive chemicals, heat and other environmental effects. These have different shapes and capacities for certain different applications. These glass containers come in shapes like beakers and tubes, however some of these have typical forms that are tough to clean.
Here are some useful tips for first time laboratory glassware users that would help you handle them better and preserve them in good hygienic condition for longer.
- Most important – Read the instructions thoroughly before using any cleaning solution that you have just brought. Before it comes in to direct contact with the skin, make sure it is safe for direct use or wear gloves.
- To check if any grease is left on the inner side of the container, rinse it with distilled water. Uniform wetting indicates grease free surface.
- After using a lab glass container, rinse it with water immediately. Otherwise, any residue in the bottle can become hard which is almost impossible to remove. In that case, all you can do with the container is abandoning it. For thorough cleaning, you should prefer phosphate free detergent.
- Lab ware containing organic matter must be cleaned with chronic acid cleaning solution. It must be handled with extreme care as it is a highly corrosive agent.
- For sterilising blood contaminated glassware – Make a 1-2% soft soap or detergent solution and pour it into a boiler. Place the container in the boiler such that it completely submerges into the solution. Boil it for 30 minutes. Take it out, rinse with fresh water, scrub with detergent and rinse again.
- Rather than using new laboratory glassware right through, soak it into 1% acid water solution for several hours. It is important for getting genuine results from your chemical tests.
- Use a soft scrub or wipe to clean the surface of the glassware to avoid scratches.
- Before using a container for an operation where calibration precision is important, use acetone or ethyl alcohol for drying and blow clean air into the vessel.
Though, glass containers manufactured for lab use are capable of producing, processing and storage of highly reactive chemical solutions, it is important to read the instruction manuals provided with them before using them for any such activities.