How do I maintain my pipettes? A crash course in caring for the details in your lab.
Learn the do’s and don’ts of pipette maintenance, and when it’s time to invest in a new pipette.
There’s an art to maintaining pipettes.
Always follow maintenance instructions according to the pipette manufacturer and your own laboratory’s maintenance protocols.
Taking good care of your pipettes promises better accuracy, and therefore, better results. Though a pipette is a relatively small laboratory instrument, there’s no doubt that it makes your bigger laboratory procedures possible. Without a pipette in good standing, you may be twiddling your thumbs during working hours in your lab. Keep your pipette in good condition to keep your laboratory going.
Here are a few tips for maintaining your pipette to get the best out of your pipetting technique:
Check your pipette regularly for dirt or other signs of contamination. Dried-up particles can cause your pipette to jam during operation.
Store your pipette in a safe enclosed spot (i.e., don’t leave it on the bench or near other equipment that can damage it). Use a rack of another form of pipette storage.
Reset your pipettes to their maximum settings when you’re not using them to reduce pressure on their springs.
Avoid adjusting your pipettes unless you absolutely need to slow down wear and tear.
Never reuse a pipette tip. Reusing pipette tips can cause contamination within a liquid sample and skews results by mixing liquid.
Decontaminate the outside of the pipette using a cleaning solution as recommended by the manufacturer. Wipe down the pipette with a lint-free wipe after.
Invest in frequent calibration for your pipettor and pipettes.
Aside from maintaining your existing pipette, there are also some red flags that indicate when you need to purchase a new pipette. It’s time to purchase a new pipette if:
The plunger within your pipette has become crooked (it should be straight).
The plunger has cracked or shows signs of corrosion.
The tip ejector jams or does not eject the pipette tip.
The micrometer window is blurry or unaligned with the pipette.
There is chemical damage on the nose or anywhere else on the body of the pipette.
The tip ejector malfunctions or shows signs of cracking.
If your pipette shows any of these signs and you’re thinking of purchasing a new pipette, check out our collection of pipettes and pipette tips.
And while you're at it, be sure to check out our brand new SCILOGEX SuperPette Autoclavable Pipettors, in seven fully adjustable volume sizes. This Pipette offers all of the premium features you’d expect from a premium pipettor for 30-50% less.