6 compelling reasons why your laboratory glassware needs to be 100% dry.

Ensuring that laboratory glassware and instruments are properly dried is crucial for maintaining the precision of scientific experiments and measurements.

Prevents contamination

When glassware or instruments are not thoroughly dried, they may retain residual moisture. This moisture can lead to contamination when the glassware comes into contact with reagents or samples. Contaminated glassware can significantly impact experimental results and compromise accuracy.

Prevents chemical reactions

Chemical Reactions: Wet laboratory glassware can cause a chemical reaction by introducing water molecules into the reaction mixture. Water can react with specific reagents, change the pH levels, or cause hydrolysis, interfering with the desired chemical processes. 

If wet glassware is used in such reactions, the additional heat from the reaction can exacerbate the pressure buildup and increase the risk of explosion.

Some chemicals react violently with water or moisture, producing an exothermic or explosive reaction. For example, metallic sodium in a wet test tube can react vigorously with water to produce hydrogen gas, which can ignite or even explode.

Prevents explosions

Some reactions involving water can be exothermic or explosive. 

For example, heat-induced explosions. If wet glassware is heated, the trapped water can rapidly vaporize, leading to a sudden increase in pressure inside the glassware. This pressure buildup can cause the glassware to shatter or explode.

For example:

  • Burettes: A wet burette filled with a hot solution can explode due to the sudden vaporization of water.
  • Erlenmeyer Flasks: Wet Erlenmeyer flasks heated on a hot plate can rupture.

Another hazardous example is pressure buildup. Some chemical reactions can produce gases that build up pressure in closed vessels, causing them to rupture or explode. This can be especially dangerous if the reaction is carried out in wet glassware. Dry glassware reduces the risk of unexpected reactions.

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Promotes accurate and precise results

Accurate measurements are crucial in analytical chemistry. Wet glassware can introduce errors due to volume changes caused by water adsorption or desorption. Proper drying ensures no spots and clean, consistent results.

Moldy when wet

If glassware is not completely dry before storing, residual moisture can lead to mold growth, rust, or corrosion over time. 

In summary, dry glassware ensures longevity, cleanliness, and accurate results during long-term storage in laboratories. 

For safety’s sake

Wet glassware can be hazardous. Moisture weakens glassware, making it more prone to breakage during handling or heating. Additionally, wet glassware is slippery and difficult to grip, increasing the likelihood of dropping and breaking it. 

In summary, meticulously dry glassware and instruments are essential for reliable experiments, safety, and the integrity of scientific processes.


Is your LYNX-brand vivarium cage washer or SCIENTEK-brand glassware washers from Spire Integrated Solutions operating at full capacity and washing and drying to your satisfaction?

If you have questions about your laboratory glassware washer or vivarium cage washer or interested in learning more about Spire’s line of laboratory and Vivarium products, contact Dave Beckinghausen at 877 679 7800 x2102 or dbeck@spire-is.com.

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