Methods for Cleaning Headspace Vials in Laboratories

Headspace vials, primarily made of glass with minimal use of plastic, are commonly reused in laboratories to reduce costs and environmental impact associated with single-use vials. The typical cleaning methods involve the use of laundry detergent, cleaning agents, organic solvents, and acidic or alkaline solutions, followed by brushing with customized small test tubes.

In the analysis of samples, thorough cleaning of headspace vials is crucial. The cleaning methods, following glassware washing protocols, vary based on the degree of contamination.

Procedure One:

  1. Empty the vial of its contents.
  2. Completely immerse the vial in 95% alcohol, perform ultrasonic cleaning twice, and then pour out the alcohol.
  3. Pour distilled water into the vial, ultrasonically clean twice.
  4. Pour out the washing solution in the vial, and heat at 110 degrees Celsius for 1-2 hours. Avoid baking at high temperatures.
  5. Cool and store.

Procedure Two:

  1. Rinse with tap water several times.
  2. Place the vial in a beaker filled with distilled water, ultrasonicate for 15 minutes.
  3. Change the water, ultrasonicate for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Soak in a beaker with anhydrous ethanol.
  5. Remove and air-dry naturally.

Procedure Three:

  1. Soak in methanol (chromatographically pure) and ultrasonically clean for 20 minutes, then pour out the methanol.
  2. Fill the vial with water, ultrasonically clean for 20 minutes, then pour out the water.
  3. Dry the vial used for sample introduction.

Procedure Four: Typically, rinse with water and air-dry before immersing in a solution of sulfuric acid and potassium dichromate (second method). For sample bottles, follow the same procedure as for liquid chromatography. Soak in medical alcohol for over 4 hours, ultrasonicate for half an hour, pour out the medical alcohol, ultrasonicate in water for half an hour, rinse with water, and then dry.

Procedure Five:

  1. If budget allows, use a new vial each time.
  2. For repeated use, cleaning is crucial. Soak in a strong oxidizing cleaning solution (potassium dichromate) for 24 hours, ultrasonically clean three times with deionized water, clean once with methanol, and air-dry.
  3. Ensure to replace the vial septum, especially when analyzing pesticide residues, to avoid affecting quantitative results.

If conditions permit, consider using disposable items such as polytetrafluoroethylene or plastic inserts, eliminating the need for cleaning.

By 向阳 翟


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