Test Tube Brushes
Test tube brushes are used to clean test tubes and other narrow-mouthed pieces of glassware like graduated cylinders and some flasks. They come in a variety of sizes and materials.
When using test tube brushes the following guidelines should be used:
- Test tube brushes should always be chosen so that they fit easily into the mouth of the glassware being cleaned. Trying to force an oversized brush into the mouth of a piece of glassware may cause breakage.
- Brushes should not be pushed too forcefully into the glassware because it may break or scratch the glassware.
Beaker brushes are essentially larger test tube brushes with a bristle head large enough to clean the sides of the much wider beaker.
The guidelines for the use of beaker brushes are the same as those for test tube brushes.
Buret brushes are simply test tube brushes with a longer wire handle to facilitate cleaning longer pieces of glassware like burets, eudiometers, and gas tubes.
The guidelines for the use of buret brushes are the same as those for test tube brushes.
Sponges may be useful for cleaning larger glassware like beakers or other equipment like stirring rods, chemical scoops, tongs, utility stands, and lab benches.
Sponges should always be wet before using. Never use a dry sponge!
General Guidelines for Cleaning with Brushes
- Brushes with exposed metal at their ends should not be used because they may scratch the glassware.
- Only gentle pressure should be used when cleaning glassware. Any material that is not easily removed by gentle cleaning should be referred to the instructor for special cleaning.