Thoroughly cleaning lab glassware will help prevent cross-contamination that can skew experiment results and lead to inaccurate findings. As such, regularly cleaning your lab equipment is an essential maintenance step that all labs should follow. While cleaning glassware may seem like a simple task, it is a more complex process than one might assume. To learn how to properly sterilize your lab equipment, here are some helpful tips for cleaning lab glassware.
Clean it immediately
If you leave residue in glassware for an extended period, infections can fester within them and it could lead to stains. As such, many professionals advise cleaning glassware immediately after using it. Doing so will make the cleaning process as effective and efficient as possible.
Use laboratory-specific cleansers
Standard dish soap won’t cut it when it comes to cleaning lab glassware. In fact, such commercial cleansers can end up damaging your lab equipment; you’re better off delaying the cleaning process until you obtain the appropriate cleaning supplies. The cleansers you use to clean your lab glassware should clearly state they’re for chemically-stained glassware.
Rinse with distilled and deionized water
For optimal sterilization, you should avoid rinsing your glassware with tap water. Instead, rinse it with distilled water after you complete the cleaning process. Then, rinse it again with deionized water. In doing so, it will remove trace amounts of cleaning solution left behind as the water serves to draw in minerals and contaminants.
Let equipment air dry
By drying off equipment with paper towels, it can pick up fibers and contaminants. To avoid introducing impurities to your freshly-cleaned glassware, simply allow the equipment to air dry. If you need to use the glassware immediately after cleaning it, a quicker drying alternative is to rinse it with acetone two to three times. The acetone will remove any remaining water before quickly evaporating.
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