How to care for your lab glassware

Taking care when working with and cleaning your glassware will help to ensure that its quality and lifetime is preserved. With correct handling and maintenance you can not only increase the life of your glassware but also enhance your lab safety.

To help optimise its performance and life span here are some useful tips we would like to share with you.

Tips to care for your lab glassware

  • Wash all glassware before it is first used.
  • Take time to inspect glassware before use. Do not use if it is scratched, chipped, cracked or etched as defects like this will seriously weaken the mechanical strength of the glass.
  • Never use excessive force to connect the rubber hose or tubing. Ensure that the screw thread connector is removed from the glassware, the tubing is lubricated and protective gloves are worn.
  • Dispose of broken or defective glassware safely. PYREX® glassware should under no circumstances be disposed of in a domestic glass recycling stream.
  • Never use excessive force to fit rubber bungs into the neck of a piece of glassware.
  • Avoid using stirring rods with sharp ends as these can scratch and weaken the glassware.
  • Carrying or lifting large glass items can be very dangerous. Always provide support from the base and sides.
  • The maximum recommended working temperature for PYREX® and Quickfit® glassware is 500oC (for short periods only). Take care when working at temperatures above 150°C.
  • Always heat glassware gently and gradually to avoid sudden temperature changes which may cause the glass to break due to thermal shock.
  • PYREX® borosilicate glass is microwave safe.
  • No sudden pressure changes. Always apply and release pressure gradients and vacuums gradually.
  • Always ensure that volumetric glassware is kept scrupulously clean.
  • Autoclaving at 121°C and cleaning glassware in an automatic dish-washer will not affect the accuracy of PYREX® or MBL® volumetric products.
  • When autoclaving PYREX® containers e.g. bottles with screwcaps, always loosen off the caps. Autoclaving glassware with a tightly screwed cap can result in pressure differences which will cause the container to break.
  • Never expose volumetric glassware to direct heat e.g. hotplates and Bunsen flames, as this will affect the accuracy.

Please note that the advice given is for general laboratory applications and may not necessarily apply to all tests and procedures.

Get help with caring for your lab glassware

The Philip Harris specialist team are here to help with any technical questions you have about taking care of your lab glassware, including the DWK Life Sciences (formerly known as SciLabware) PYREX® and Quickfit®. Call them on 0345 120 4521 or e-mail techsupport@philipharris.co.uk. 

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