Glass labware are long-lasting and perform efficiently if they are handled with care. Keep in mind precautions that you should take when using glass labware to ensure that you never exceed the thermal shock and mechanical stress that the glass can manage because the labware will definitely break. Here are precautions to take to elongate the lifespan of glassware lab apparatus.
Wash all lab apparatus that are made of glass and examine them to establish whether they are in good condition or not before use. Washing them before use gets rid of strains of other chemicals that may react with what you want to put in the glassware because some reactions are explosive.
Use safe ways of disposing of defective glass lab equipment and broken pieces of these apparatus such as throwing them in a purpose-designed disposal bin that is clearly labeled and is resistant to puncture. Use the appropriate means of disposing of all lab glass waste provided that the glass is not contaminated by chemicals. Types of glass are recycled separately because not all of them are compatible since their melting points vary. The melting point of borosilicate glass is higher melting point than other glass including soda-lime hence do not dispose of borosilicate glass with other glasses in a domestic glass recycling stream.
Glass lab instruments that are etched, scratched, cracked, or chipped should never be used. When glass lab apparatus have they defects they are weak mechanically and are highly susceptible to breakage.
Never carry large volumetric lab glassware by not holding only the rim or the neck. You risk getting hurt by corrosive and toxic substances if the apparatus slip and fall because they will break and spill the contents on you. Place one of your palms at the base of the glassware and the other on the sides to offer it enough support from the base and sides.
Use the appropriate size of bung to make it easy to fix it onto the neck of a glassware lab instrument because when you use excessive force, you may break the apparatus because you risk breaking it.
Never use stirring rods that have sharp ends when stirring solutions in the glassware. The glassware can be scratched by the sharp edges that are on the stirring rods hence weakening the apparatus.
Exposing glass labware to sudden temperature and pressure changes increase the risk of breakage. Heat them gently and increase the temperature gradually to avoid the thermal shock that is caused by sudden temperature changes. Cool the apparatus slowly. Use clamps that do not over tighten the mouth of the glassware to prevent too much pressure from accumulating in the vessel and remove the clamp gently to release the pressure slowly.