The care and maintenance of your pipettes is arguably one of the most important routines for working in the lab. A well-cared for pipette will last longer, provide more accurate results, be calibrated more precisely, and reduce the risk of cross-contamination. The following is a comprehensive guide to properly cleaning your pipettes.
Cleaning the Robot
Sterility: The best way to keep your robot sterile is by washing it with 70% isopropyl alcohol, the same way you would for your lab bench. The clear panels on your robot are made of acrylic.
DO NOT use ethanol or bleach to clean them - as it may cause the acrylic to crack.
Cleaning the Pipettes
Exterior Cleaning: Most pipettes can be cleaned externally with typical household or laboratory cleaning agents, soaps, or alcohol. By spraying or wiping the exterior of the instrument, the outside of the pipette can be easily cleaned. To ensure full sterilization, let the cleaning solution sit on the pipette for 10-12 minutes before wiping it off.
Interior Cleaning: Cleaning the interior of your pipette can be more time-consuming because it requires full disassembly. Individual parts will need to be cleaned differently depending on the material, shape, size, and purpose. Please contact email@example.com for specific details to maintain the integrity of the pipette's electrical components.
Contamination Cleaning: If your pipette becomes contaminated with a known substance, there are specific cleaning steps that must be taken depending on the type of substance. Taking the routine cleaning and maintenance steps outlined above will not be sufficient if your pipette is cross-contaminated.
For aqueous solutions, rinse the contaminated parts with distilled water or 70 percent ethanol and air dry at 60°F.
For organic solvents, allow the substance to evaporate on its own or immerse the part in a detergent and then air dry.
For radioactive substances, place the pipette in a solution like Decon and then rinse and air dry.
For proteins, rinse the contaminated parts with a detergent, rinse, and air dry. DO NOT use alcohol as it will set the proteins.
For nucleic acids, rinse the contaminated parts in glycine/HCI buffer (pH 2) for 10 minutes, rinse with distilled water, and air dry.