Safety & Lab Tips

Good Manners

Good manners make lab enjoyable and rewarding for everyone.

  • Clean up messes you make in communal work areas: reagent fume hood, balance room, etc. (wipe with wet sponge as needed)
  • At the end of each lab session
    • clean your work area (bench & fume hood) by wiping it with a wet sponge
    • dispose of all trash (unused chemicals, pipets, gloves, paper, broken glass) in the appropriate container
    • store all personal glassware in your desk whether it is clean or dirty, wet or dry
    • return communal materials (apparatus, reagents) to their appropriate storage areas (apparatus should be returned clean)
  • Do not use any unfamiliar equipment without the approval of your instructor or laboratory assistant
  • Notify your instructor or laboratory assistant immediately if
    • you become injured
    • you get splashed by chemicals
    • you notice/start a fire or explosion
    • you spill a substantial amount of material (or break a mercury-containing thermometer
  • Protect the integrity of communal reagents
    • Do not put anything into a reagent bottle except a clean pipette/spatula
    • Cap bottles as soon as possible
    • Return reagents to their original locations as soon as possible
  • Label and properly store all chemicals you make
    • Store volatile liquids in a fume hood in a tightly capped container
    • Do not cap a hot liquid until it has cooled to room temperature
    • Do not use wood/rubber corks, plastic caps, and parafilm to cap organic liquids (these caps may be suitable for solids and aqueous solutions)
    • Use Teflon stoppers and glass stoppers to cap organic liquids