7 top tips for the safe, sustainable use of laboratory glassware

7 top tips for the safe, sustainable use of laboratory glassware

To obtain the maximum performance from your laboratory glassware, correct handling is essential. Welcome to the first instalment of blogs on care and maintenance of lab glassware.

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7 top tips for the safe, sustainable use of Laboratory Glassware

by Chris Price, Glass Product Manager

To obtain the maximum performance from your laboratory glassware, correct handling is essential. Welcome to the first instalment of blogs on care and maintenance of lab glassware, a guide on the safe handling of glassware and tips on how you can to optimise its performance and life span.

  • Pre-washing – We recommend that all glassware is washed before it is first used to remove any cardboard fibres that may have transferred to the glass from the product packaging.
  • Examination – Before using any piece of glassware, always take time to examine it carefully and ensure that it is in good condition. Do not use any glassware that is scratched, chipped, cracked or etched. Defects like these can seriously weaken the mechanical strength of the glass and cause it to break in use.
  • Carriage – Carrying or lifting large glass flasks, beakers or bottles, etc. by the neck or rim can be very dangerous. Always provide support from the base and sides.
  • Applying force – Never use excessive force to insert rubber bungs into the neck of a piece of glassware. Always ensure that you select the correct size of bung.
  • Connecting tubing – Many Pyrex® or Quickfit® glass products are supplied with durable, easy to use plastic screw thread tubing connectors to allow the safe fitting of any flexible tubing. When attaching tubing, ensure that the screw thread connector is removed from the glassware, the tubing is lubricated and protective gloves are worn. Never use excessive force to connect the rubber hose or tubing.
  • Avoiding scratching – When stirring solutions in glass vessels, avoid using stirring rods with sharp ends which can scratch the glassware causing it to become weakened.
  • Disposal – Dispose of broken or defective glassware safely. Use a purpose-designed disposal bin that is puncture resistant and clearly labelled. Pyrex® glassware (or any other borosilicate glass) should under no circumstances be disposed of in a domestic glass recycling stream (e.g. bottle banks), as its high melting point makes it incompatible with other glass (soda-lime glass) for recycling. The correct method of disposal is to include it in the general waste in accordance with your organisation’s relevant guidelines, provided that the glass is free from any harmful chemical contamination.

Pyrex® is a registered trade mark of Corning Inc. SciLabware is a registered user.

This technical information is provided in good faith by SciLabware Limited for the safety of its customers.

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

If you are in doubt, or require more technical information on SciLabware glass products, please contact SciLabware for specific advice via our contact us page and select 'Technical enquiries' in the drop down. 

We hope you found this interesting. Please stay tuned for the next instalment ‘Feeling the heat’ which will be available on our website later this month.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Price is the Glass Product Manager at SciLabware. Chris has over 30 years' experience in laboratory glassware with extensive experience in product development, innovation management and product marketing.