Lab Bottles

Lab bottles are an essential part of science laboratories because of the many uses they have. Whether using them to wash equipment, store ingredients, or weigh materials, there's a bottle designed specifically for that purpose. Staples® has a wide selection of laboratory bottles and other scientific supplies for science and medical use.

Types of Bottles for Many Science and Medical Uses
Laboratory bottles come in several shapes and sizes for specific uses. Wash bottles, also known as solvent bottles, have a long top or side nozzles. They're often filled with detergent, deionized water, alcohol, or bleach, which is squirted on work surfaces to clean or rinse them quickly and thoroughly. Reagent or media bottles are used for storage and have sealing caps or stoppers that keep ingredients safe. They prevent air from getting in and unwanted vapors from escaping. Weighing bottles are thin walled and lightweight for precise measurements of materials. They have wide flat bottoms that allow them to sit on surfaces without wobbling. Some options have graduated markings for quick measurements of liquid. Sample bottles are available in wide or narrow mouth designs and are used to hold various liquid and solid samples.

Laboratory Bottle Materials for Safety
The type of material used is important because they're often used to hold hazardous materials or ingredients that are sensitive to outside contamination. Wash bottles are typically made from solvent-resistant plastics that won’t melt or leak when in contact with cleaning substances. The majority are LDPE (low-density polyethylene), so they're soft but sturdy and easy to squeeze. Many storage bottles are made from amber-colored glass. This prevents UV contamination but the bottles are still transparent enough to show the level of contents. Others are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene), a petroleum-based plastic that is hard and strong.

Can Lab Bottles Be Reused?
They can be reused when utilized as wash bottles as long as the same cleaning material is used or the previous chemical completely washed out. The same goes for weighing bottles. Storage bottles should only be reused with the same contents because of the risk of accidentally mixing incompatible chemicals. It's acceptable to reuse bottles as waste containers. That is, filling them with waste material and then tossing them into hazardous waste or glass disposal boxes.

Can Lab Bottles Be Recycled?
Bottles that were used to store hazardous chemicals or materials are not recyclable. The risk is too high of chemicals leaking into landfills or materials spilling during the disposal process. Containers used with water, alcohol, or acetone can be thoroughly rinsed and then recycled. Many states have waste management centers that can safely recycle containers that once held hazardous waste. Look for local medical waste companies to see what options are available.

How Do You Properly Dispose of Broken Glass Lab Bottles?
Broken glass laboratory bottles that did not have harsh chemicals or hazardous waste in them can be thrown away in glass disposal boxes. These containers have a lining that prevents liquid leaks and is tough enough to withstand sharp shards. Glass bottles that contained hazardous chemicals must be disposed of in a hazardous waste container.

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