The principal concern for any scientist or technician working in the laboratory is that glassware, instruments, and equipment be free of interfering residues. These often unseen residues can cause invalid analytical results. For example, they can erroneously accelerate or decelerate rate dependent experiment by causing localized high concentration of reactants inside micelles. They can inhibit culture growth, cross-contaminate batches, and cause nonreproducible results. To solve these problems, labware must be cleaned thoroughly and any interfering residues removed. This requires that an appropriate laboratory detergent be selected and an effective cleaning method used.
Machine Washing — is used in laboratories for cleaning large quantities of reusable labware. Selection and use of the correct detergent, good maintenance practices, and proper usage and loading of your washing machine will help you have reliably clean glassware and equipment.
Acid Rinsing — is a periodic (monthly or quarterly) empty acid wash cycle to remove scale build-up that can clog nozzles and deposit white calcium scale. Sometimes insoluble metal hydroxides form, amphoteric proteins deposit, and certain alkaline insoluble residues, such as certain polymers, fail to be removed during alkaline cleaning. To remove these residues, an acid rinse step is required.