Clean glassware is a right of everyone in the lab, and it is your duty to yourself and to your colleagues to be sure that when a piece is put back on the shelf it is ready for the most exacting use one might have for it. To clean glassware routinely (that is, without need for solvent or acid washing) use the following protocol.

1.   Soak the items in detergent for several hours; overnight is excellent. Be sure the items are 100% submerged to avoid leaving a ring on them. The rings are often very hard to remove.

DETERGENT:  Use a product designed for labware, e.g., Alconox. Make up a solution according to the instructions with hot water for soaking the items.

2.   After soaking, get the items back into a hot detergent solution. Each item should be scrubbed thoroughly, inside and out, with a brush or scrubbing pad.

3.   Rinse each item in tap water 3 times to remove the detergent residues.

4.   When the item no longer contains detergent, rinse it once outside and twice inside with DI water.

5.   Hang the item on the drying rack, or place it in an oven at 105°C until it is completely dry.

6.   As soon as the items are dry, move them to permanent storage. Glassware left hanging around or in an oven will likely get broken much faster than if returned to proper storage.

7.   If you find that clean glassware is hard to find, don't be afraid to keep clean items at your benchrather than putting them back in circulation. By keeping your own stock, you know how well they were cleaned because you cleaned them - for better or worse.