12 Dos and Don'ts of Borosilicate Glassware
Inspect Before Use
- Do always inspect your borosilicate glassware before use. Even new glassware can be damaged in transit, and previously-damaged vessels can be bumped during cleaning or storage. The quick and easy way to check if a vessel is damaged is to hold it up to sunlight: if you see small fractures or star-shaped cracks, then the vessel is damaged.
Washing & Cleaning
- Don't bump your borosilicate glassware against a sink wall or against other vessels during cleaning. You could damage the vessel, even subtly, and progressive damage reduces the life of the vessel and introduces safety hazards.
- Do use a soft bristle brush with a plastic or wooden handle when cleaning borosilicate glassware. This will reduce scratching and unnecessary abrasions.
- Don't use hydrofluoric acid or strong alkali soaps or acids to clean borosilicate glassware. Hydrofluoric acid is highly corrosive to borosilicate glass, and strong alkali soaps / acids are also damaging.
- Do use Alconox™ or similar detergents to clean borosilicate glass.
- Do rinse with distilled water.
Heating and Autoclaving
- Do triple-check the type of glass you're working with. Borosilicate and quartz glass can withstand high temperatures, high pressure, and autoclaving. Other types of glass -- like soft glass or soda lime -- can't. Be sure and be safe!
- Do triple-check borosilicate glassware for damage before subjecting it to heating or autoclaving. Even tiny cracks and abrasions can cause glassware to fail under high temperatures and pressures.
- Don't subject borosilicate glass to rapid cool down or rapid return to atmospheric pressure. Doing so is one of the most frequent ways to cause the glass to fail, with dangerous results.
- Don't subject borosilicate glass to temperatures beyond 240°C except for very short periods.
- Do dispose of damaged borosilicate glassware. This prevents accidental use.
- Don't try to recycle borosilicate glassware through standard methods (like recycle bins or curbside recycling).
Our Borosilicate Glassware
Growing Labs offers numerous laboratory vessels composed of borosilicate glass. A partial list is below: