How To Clean A Pipette Properly
The pipettes in your laboratory hold immense importance. If you’re conducting experiments that involve gene expression analysis and other assays, your pipettes are most likely to get contaminated. Knowing how important these pipettes are, you should always ensure that your pipettes are immaculate.
A good way to keep your pipettes clean from contaminants is by using filter pipette tips. You can also wipe the exterior of the pipette with ethanol before conducting any experiment. However, both of these methods do not ensure deep cleaning.
Read on to learn some effective ways to make sure your pipettes remain clean, regardless of the contaminant.
Dismantling the pipette is necessary to ensure deep cleansing, but you need to be very careful while doing this. Usually, the pipettes come with an instruction manual that you can use to disassemble the pipette. In case you don’t have the manual, you can start by detaching the tip ejector, and then disconnecting the upper and lower parts of the pipette. Finally, you take off the O-ring and the piston. Rinse all the parts with distilled water and put them back together as it is.
2. Take Off The Contaminants
Once you’ve put together all the parts of the pipette after washing them, you can proceed by determining what leads to contamination of your pipette and the type of pipette in use.
Mostly, you’ll get an instruction manual that’ll thoroughly guide you on how to clean the pipettes, but you should also know some useful tips on how to get rid of the most common types of contaminants:
⮚ Aqueous solutions: if you have experimented with an aqueous solution, buffers, or inorganic substances, thoroughly wash all the contaminated areas of the pipette using 705 ethanol. Other options include 10% isopropyl alcohol that also deeply cleans the pipette. Finish up by air drying the pipette at 600C.
⮚ Organic Solvents: When you’ve worked with organic acids or alkalis, let the solvent completely evaporate from the pipette without boiling it. You can also submerge the contaminated pipette in a solution that has a little amount of detergent mixed in it. Finish it up by air drying at 600C.
⮚ Radioactive Elements: Radioactive substances will most certainly leave the pipette contaminated, and you cannot get exact results in the next experiments if you do not properly clean the pipette. Start cleaning by rinsing the pipette with a strong detergent and then wash the pipette with distilled water several times. Air-dry it at 600C and finish the cleaning by conducting a wipe test to ensure that all of the radioactive substance is gone.
⮚ Proteins: In the case of proteins, you should never use alcohol-based cleaners to clean the pipette. Start by rinsing the contaminated regions using a detergent solution and then wash thoroughly with distilled water. Finish up by air drying at 600C.
⮚ Nucleic Acids: After getting through an experiment with nucleic acids, clean your pipettes by boiling the lower part of the pipette strong alkaline buffers for 10 minutes. Proceed by washing it twice or thrice with distilled water and air drying at 600C.
⮚ RNase: Start the cleaning procedure by immersing the pipette in a detergent solution. Take it out after some time and then wash thoroughly with distilled water. In this case, make sure you also rinse it with 95% ethanol and then let it dry. Continue the process by soaking the contaminated parts in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it with distilled water. Finish the process by air drying at the above-mentioned temperature.
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