Washing and Cleaning of Laboratory Glassware isn’t as simple as washing the dishes. Here’s how to wash your glassware so that you won’t ruin your chemical solution or laboratory experiment.
For the Washing and Cleaning of Laboratory Glassware detergent and tap water are neither required nor desirable. You can rinse the glassware with the proper solvent, then finish up with a couple of rinses with distilled water, followed by final rinses with deionized water.
The procedure is established to ensure the utmost cleanliness of the laboratory glassware for carrying out successful assays and tests without interference from the residues of the previous analysis. It is necessary to ensure the quality of future products handled in the equipment to prevent cross contamination and as a Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) requirement.
Scope of Washing and Cleaning of Laboratory
This procedure is applicable for the Washing and Cleaning of Laboratory Glassware used by the laboratory for the testing of materials & products.
- Lab. Assistant
- Officer QC
- Sr. Officer QC
- Quality Control Manager
What is Volumetric Glassware’s: Glassware used in the laboratory to obtain or provide pre¬determined volumes of liquid (e.g., volu¬metric flasks and pipettes). OR Glass apparatus used to measure the volume of a liquid or gas is called volumetric glassware. Some examples are pipettes, volumetric flasks and burettes.
Process Flow Chart
- Simple washing with detergent Vim powder and tap water + final rinse with distilled water make most of the laboratory glassware’s clean enough for general use.
- If simple detergent and water will not clean the glassware then chemical reagents to remove most stains or slid materials. An experience person should handle the washing with chemical cleaning agents as these are very dangerous.
- In cases where water-insoluble organic compounds have been used, organic solvents such as ethanol or acetone may be required.
- Strong Acids are useful for removing resistant residues such as insoluble metals slats and decomposed organic matter.
- Never dry the volumetric glassware in an oven because heat may destroy the integrity of the glassware calibration.
- Remove all tapes & labels before washing initiation.
- Wash glassware’s as quickly as possible after use if it is not possible then the articles should be soaked in water.
- Use Vim detergent powder as required and use brush where required to give thorough cleaning.
- In case where water insoluble organic compounds have been used, organic solvent such as ethanol or acetone or other compatible solvent may be used for rinsing before washing operation to remove the suspended material if any.
- Strong acids such as HCl, H2SO4, and HNO3 etc. are useful for removing resistant residues such as insoluble metal salts and decomposed organic matter.
- During the washing all parts of the article should be thoroughly scrubbed with a brush selected for the shape and size of the glass ware. Brushed should always be in good condition to avoid any abrasion of the glassware.
- Pipettes, volumetric flask & burettes may need to be soaked in soap solution overnight and may require scrubbing with a brush if residues still visible.
- After washing with detergent rinse well several times with tap water and then rinse 2-3 times with DI water and finally rinse the glassware with distilled water.
- Volumetric glassware’s are generally used wet and user is required to rinse the glassware with what ever is going to be used ultimately in the glassware. For example if a burette is to be filled standard acid solution, it should be rinsed with the small portion of the same acid. Rinsing with the solution that is going to be used insures that no excess water still available after cleaning will dilute the solution to be measured.
- For microbiological analysis glassware’s must be sterilized by using appropriate procedure.
- If glassware is not required immediately after cleaning, then air drying on a rack is satisfactory.
- Once dry glassware should then be stored in an appropriate place.
- Volumetric Glassware’s should never be heated in an oven, since the heat may destroy the integrity of the glassware’s calibration, however glassware’s other than volumetric can by dried in an oven below 65˚C.
- Remove stoppers and stopcocks when they are not in use, otherwise they may freeze in place.
- Handle with care all glassware’s, and discard any glassware having crack.
- An experience person should handle the washing with chemical cleaning agents as these are hazardous.
- Wear gloves and goggles when handling the acids & other chemicals used for washing.
Log of Lab. Chemicals Media & Solvent Disposal