General Lab Glassware Cleaning
Good laboratory technique requires clean glassware, because the most carefully executed piece of work may give an erroneous result if the dirty glassware is used. In all instances, glassware must be physically and chemically clean, and in some cases, it needs to be bacteriologically clean or sterile.
Glassware must be kept grease-free
The safest criteria of cleanliness is uniform wetting of the surface by distilled water. This is especially important in glassware used for measuring the volume of liquids. Grease and other contaminating materials will prevent the glass from becoming uniformly wetted. This will alter the volume of residue adhering to the walls of the glass container and thus affect the volume of liquid delivered. Furthermore, in pipettes and burettes, the meniscus will be distorted and the correct adjustments cannot be made. The presence of small amounts of impurities may also alter the meniscus.
Wash labware as soon as possible after use
If a thorough cleaning is not possible immediately, put glassware to soak in water. If labware is not cleaned immediately, it may become impossible to remove the residue.
Read the entire article, Caring for Your Glassware.
Article reprinted with permission by the Corning Corporation.
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