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Laboratory Glassware: Everything You Need to Know

High school students in chemistry lab


Laboratories around the world use glass in nearly all of their equipment as well as for storage and testing. This is because glass has a lot of attributes that makes it perfect for containing chemicals, acids, and various liquids. If you’re running your own laboratory, or if you’re thinking about opening up a new one, you may find that glass works substantially better and has a longer lifespan than some of its plastic counterparts. Additionally, if you’re running an educational science lab, you’ll find that glassware is a better option for you.

If you aren’t sure which laboratory tools to choose when it comes to containers, testing methods, and storage, check out these 3 things you need to know about laboratory glassware.

1. It’s Better Than Plastic

While there are some new plastic alternatives to laboratory glassware, glassware still holds up better. It has components that allow it to hold volatile chemicals that certain plastics just don’t have. Its resistance to chemicals is what gives glass so much more potential in any laboratory.

According to, “The only substances that can destroy glass are hydrofluoric acid, strong alkalis used at high temperatures, and concentrated phosphoric acid.” That means that the majority of the tests you run won’t harm the glassware that you use in your lab. Glass is a great material for resisting chemicals. It takes a long time to break down, unlike plastic and plastic alternatives.

2. Take the Proper Precautions

When you use laboratory glass for experimenting or testing, it is important to take the proper precautions. While glass can stand up to chemicals, there are other things that can break it. For example, glass at extreme temperatures or exposed to rapid temperature changes can change. If the temperatures are too hot, the glass will melt, and if the temperatures are too cold, the glass can become brittle. Additionally, glass is subject to break under a lot of pressure.

For these reasons, it’s essential to purchase tempered laboratory glass that can withstand higher degrees of these dangers. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to properly train your staff or students on the properties of laboratory glass, what it is capable of, and what it is not capable of.


Glass test tubes filled with liquid

3. Keep It Clean

While many may think that cleaning glassware in hot water is the best, it is important to clean your laboratory glassware in cold water. This will remove any protein residue that is on the glass. You can use disinfectant solutions to soak your glassware to help you clean off any chemicals or biological residue. Additionally, you can use a brush to scrub away any additional particles from the glass. Keeping your laboratory glassware clean will ensure that you don’t have any cross-contamination in your testing or experiments.

When it comes to purchasing laboratory glassware, it is essential to consider the properties of glass. It is more chemical resistant than most plastics, but it still has limitations. Also, be sure to keep your glassware clean. If you are looking for quality laboratory glassware, contact Hi Valley Chemical, one of the leading school chemical suppliers around.