Glass labware are long-lasting and perform efficiently if they are handled with care. Understand the thermal shock and mechanical stress limits of glass labware and be cautious enough not to go beyond that by sticking to protect them from breaking. Here are precautions to take to elongate the lifespan of glassware lab apparatus.
All glass labware must be washed and examined to determine if they are in good condition or not before use. You never know if the strains of chemicals from experiments that you did before were rinsed from the apparatus and the chemicals that you want to put in the apparatus may have exothermic reactions with those chemical strains.
Dispose of defective glass lab instruments and their broken pieces safely by using 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. Borosilicate glass should never be disposed of in a domestic glass recycling stream with other glasses because they have higher melting point than other glass including soda-lime glass.
Glass lab instruments that are etched, scratched, cracked, or chipped should never be used. These defects increase the risk of breakage in glass lab instruments because they weaken their mechanical strength.
It is dangerous to carry large volumetric glassware by not holding the neck or rim alone. 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. You can offer the glass labware enough support placing a palm on the base and the other on the sides.
Excessive force should never be applied when fixing a bung onto the neck of the glass labware because it can break therefore use bung that is of the right size because it will be quick and easy to fix.
Avoid using stirring rods that have sharp ends to stir solutions in the glass lab vessels. The glassware can be scratched by the sharp edges that are on the stirring rods hence weakening the apparatus.
Glass lab apparatus should never be exposed to sudden changes in temperatures and glass for they break quickly under these circumstances. Avoid thermal shock that is caused by sudden changes in temperature by heating the apparatus gently and increase the temperature gradually. Allow them to cool slowly. Do not use over-tightening clamps and release pressure from the apparatus slowly by opening the clamp gently.