Cleaning Methods for Laboratory Glassware

Cleaning Methods for Laboratory Glassware

The manufacturers of laboratory glassware such as Corning, the manufacturer of Pyrex laboratory glassware, may recommend a wide variety of cleaning solutions which may include biodegradable phosphate-free and chromium-free formulations. These will be available for purchase through many laboratory supply companies. Instructions for using these solutions should be read and closely followed. When using any cleaning solution that comes in contact with the skin, always wash the exposed area with repeated water rinses to avoid burns.  Always read the Material Safety Data Sheets of the cleaning solutions being employed.It is generally agreed that laboratory glassware should be soaked immediately after use to eliminate the danger of caking of residues. Or, if grease is involved, a preliminary, short rinse with an organic solvent may be necessary. Afterwards, a thorough water-rinse should follow until all traces of unwanted materials are removed – including the solvent. If the glassware is to be calibrated, distilled water should be utilized for the final rinse. Graduated laboratory glassware that is marked “to contain” should be dried using acetone or ethyl alcohol and clean air blown into the vessel – in a fume hood – will hasten the drying process.Abrasive materials should be avoided when it is necessary to wipe down or clean laboratory glassware as it will damage the surface.Autoclaving may be necessary in some applications. When cleaning with an autoclave, it is recommended that instructions supplied with the instrument be followed closely.

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