Table of content

1. Introduction

2. Why is it Important to Maintain Laboratory Equipment?

3. Important Tips to Maintain Lab Equipment

4. Conclusion


Taking newly prepared samples to an instrument and learning that it is broken is one of the most annoying things that may happen in the lab.

Specimens, reagents, and time are all squandered, and no one is pleased, from students to lab managers and supervisors.

As a result, it's critical to keep the equipment for the laboratory in good working order.

Whether you're trying to keep within budget or ensuring that experiments go off without a hitch, equipment maintenance should always be your first priority.

The risk of cross-contamination is likely to be almost as critical to your work as the study itself if you don't work in a pristine facility.

The advantages of proper lab upkeep don't stop there. Because the equipment is generally one of the most expensive investments in a lab, taking good care of what you already have (and thus avoiding unneeded repurchases) is an added benefit.

Why is it Important to Maintain Laboratory Equipment?

Here are some of the essential reasons for the maintenance of all the laboratory equipment:

1) Reliability and Accuracy:

There are numerous laboratory equipment such as measuring devices, analytical instruments, etc., that are able to give you reliable and precise outcomes.

With regular maintenance, it makes sure that the laboratory equipment functions within the determined tolerances as well as calibration standards.

It also helps in minimizing errors and assuring the integrity of experimental information.

If no maintenance is performed, then the performance of the equipment can deteriorate with time which can result in providing inaccurate outcomes.

2) Cost-Effectiveness:

The timely maintenance of laboratory equipment can prove to be one of the most cost-effective ways in the long run.

Systematic examinations and preventive supervision can help in identifying little problems before they result in major issues that need costly replacements or repairs.

In addition, routine servicing can help with optimizing the performance of equipment, lowering the consumption of energy, and also minimizing the requirement for reagents and consumables.

3) Safety:

Maintaining the laboratory equipment plays a vital role in making sure that the safety of technicians, researchers, and other working individuals is taken care of!

Poorly maintained tools can pose substantial safety hazards such as chemical spills, fires, or electrical shocks.

Regular assessments, repairs, as well as calibrations provide assistance to identify and discourse potential safety problems before they escalate into huge casualties or damages.

4) Consistency and Reproducibility:

 Having properly maintained the equipment helps to assure the reproducibility and consistency of all the experiments.

By keeping the tools & instruments in optimal condition, one can definitely minimize variations in experimental and measurement conditions.

This enables a great comparison of outcomes between varied experiments or across various laboratories, which contributes to the complete reliability of the scientific study.

5) Prolonging Equipment Lifespan:

 Regular maintenance can also help extend the lifespan of laboratory equipment.

Being consistent in your examinations, cleaning and other services can help you to prevent the accumulation of corrosion, debris, or mechanical wear that might result in premature equipment failure.

This will not only help in saving enough money by preventing the requirement for regular replacements but also makes sure that the valuable equipment remains operational for a longer period of time.

Take a look at this Lab Maintenance Checklist blog if you know you've been putting less time and thought into lab maintenance than you should!

Some Important Tips to Maintain Lab Equipment

1. Read the Instruction Manual Carefully 

It would be best if you read the handbook before using any equipment for the laboratory.

Even if these instructions aren't readily available in the lab (an ancient centrifuge is unlikely to be retained with its handbook intact), it's worth looking online or calling the manufacturer to request one.

Compiling a list of these manuals is essential for both troubleshooting and training when something goes wrong with the machine.

You don't have to read the handbook on its whole; a quick glance at it can help you figure out how to operate it effectively and possibly uncover options you weren't aware of.

2. Obtain Proper Training

The best method to learn how to use instrumentation correctly is through training.

Remember that the quickest way to damage equipment is to use it incorrectly (everyone knows someone who didn't exactly balance their tubes in the ultracentrifuge).

The best way to prevent this is to train competent individuals.

Don't take training for granted; if you have time, try to conduct some experimental planning and troubleshooting, particularly for instruments like mass spectrometers and flow cytometers, which require a lot of steps and changes to process samples.

3. Educate Other Individuals About It 

Scientists from outside your lab executing an experiment without sufficient training are a common source of damaged equipment.

Centrifuges, balances, microscopes, and other high-end imaging and detecting devices can all be lost in academic labs where equipment is frequently shared without physical boundaries.

It's worthwhile to invest not just in training your lab's workers but also in actively identifying and training others who may want to use the instrumentation.

By avoiding unauthorized and incorrect use of the device by staff working outside your lab, you can avoid future disagreements and infighting.

4. After Every Use, Clean!

One of the simplest, most economical, and the most obvious method to maintain your lab in good form is to keep it clean, yet it's surprisingly more disregarded than you may imagine.

It's recommended to:

●     Wipe down all exteriors of equipment daily.

●     Deep clean all equipment weekly.

●     Deep clean microscopes regularly use a 30:70 mixture of alcohol and ether - this guarantees that they are clean sufficiently to give the most accurate results.

●     If there are any specific cleaning techniques for demanding equipment, refer to the manual or consult the lab manager. Hematology equipment, for example, requires a six-monthly engineer check, a weekly analyzer surface clean, and a monthly HC control check.

●     Consider hiring a competent professional for cleaning difficult things; third-party equipment maintenance and cleaning might be a cost-effective option.

Cleaning up after oneself is a common-sense strategy for keeping your things in excellent shape, yet it is often forgotten in the lab.

Cleaning is important for equipment because it prevents potentially harmful particles and liquids from clogging your instrumentation.

Furthermore, simply cleaning your lab regularly can help prevent the formation of dust, which can cause difficulties if permitted to accumulate in and around your equipment for lengthy periods.

Following these basic cleaning techniques will keep your lab's equipment in top shape and ensure it functions smoothly.

Exposed surfaces should be wiped down daily, and a comprehensive cleaning should be scheduled once a week.

Make certain that:

●     Cleaning chemicals and cleaning aids used are specific for laboratory equipment care.

●     In addition to cleaning equipment for the laboratory before and after each usage, a timetable for more in-depth cleaning is required. It may be necessary to disassemble certain equipment to clean parts that are difficult to access.

Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning policy directions. Specific solvents, cleaning solutions, or drying techniques may be required for certain equipment sections.

5. Frequent Inspections

Problems with equipment aren't often obvious right away.

It's critical to verify your instruments throughout the year physically and, if necessary, perform performance tests.

This is especially important for equipment that isn't used frequently because you'll be able to address any flaws before the instrument is needed for testing later.

Make a laboratory equipment list and track its condition on it. Maintenance contracts for vital equipment are usually a good investment, even though they might be costly.

6. Check Your Calibration

Failure to calibrate equipment regularly might result in a lack of precision in your data, a mistake that could bring entire experiments to a halt.

Furthermore, appropriate calibration can increase lab safety when dangerous chemicals are utilized. As a result, the procedure must be followed consistently.

Make a laboratory equipment list and track the calibration on it. Various services are available to ensure that your equipment is calibrated regularly and to the correct standard.

It's advisable to:

●     Conduct an inventory of your equipment and determine which type of maintenance is best for each item – from simple preventative maintenance to more advanced accuracy verification.

●     Calibrate equipment regularly for continuous preventative maintenance to maintain your lab in top shape.

It's a good idea to calibrate tools like pipettes every 3 to 6 months. However, as previously said, it is vital to assess their accuracy on a regular basis using pure water, a balance, and a weight dish (the amount of water pipetted should yield the correct weight on balance).

Using specially designed labels that are fastened to equipment and record maintenance information is a wonderful approach to tracking routine maintenance and calibration.

Handwritten information will be protected from spills and unlawful changes using these labels.

Any equipment must be calibrated in the following circumstances -

●     When the manufacturer's specified period has passed, calibration should be performed. 

●     The equipment is hit by force, falls to the ground, or is involved in an accident or other potentially dangerous event.

●      When the device is in use, there are strange patterns or sounds.

●     The results of the measurements are suspect.

●     Extremely critical measurements must be carried out, with data correctness being of the utmost importance.

7. Refurbish

Repairing defective equipment is essential, but if your goods still work (but not as smoothly as before), refurbishing may be the answer.

When it comes to maintenance, refurbishing your equipment (i.e., dismantling it component by component to clean and repair it) has its benefits.

It allows you to check the present quality of your components and evaluate whether or not any of them need to be replaced or repaired.

It's also a lot easier to clean an instrument when it's disassembled. Just make sure you know how to reassemble it.

Consider the following procedure if you're trying to refurbish obsolete equipment:

1.   Dismantle the complete piece of equipment.

2.   Make sure each component is clean. 

3.   If necessary, polish components. 

4.   Lubricate any moving parts that need it.

5.   Consider replacing parts that are showing signs of wear and tear at this preventative stage.

6.   Assemble the equipment once more.

To carry out the above technique, you'll need to know a little about the goods you're working with, which can help items return to their former glory.

8. Keep Track of How often you utilize a Specific Equipment

It's critical to keep track of who's using the equipment and what they're doing with it because determining the cause of any problem necessitates a firsthand account of how and when it happened.

It will also allow you to determine when the machine needs to calibrate or be maintained regularly.

Handwritten or electronic logbooks are both acceptable. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) can be used to document activities for your lab's equipment in electronic books, creating a watertight audit trail that accounts for all relevant information about the instrument.

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9. Put Together A Minor-Repair Toolkit

Lab equipment will eventually wear out and quit operating. Rather than discarding damaged equipment right away, take the time to check if parts can be replaced or objects can be repaired.

You might be amazed at how easily equipment can be updated and maintained rather than just discarded.

Repairing and replacing parts, especially on bigger things, can be an effective strategy to extend the item's life while lowering costs.

Some parts will wear out faster than others due to the nature of the items, but if properly handled, to avoid difficulties or burnout, these can be timely replaced.

Consider filtration systems, centrifuges, and microscope lenses: Each component may be easily replaced without requiring the complete machine to be discarded.

It's worth having some good instruments in your lab to tackle little problems, just as at home. Here is a handful that might be useful for minor repairs:

●     A screwdriver with many bits

●     A set of spanners

●     An Allen key set

●     Forceps

●     Lubricants designed for certain machines

●     Pliers

●     Superglue

●     Tape for ducts

●     Tape for electrical connections

●     Toothbrush

10. Make Use of a 3D Printer to Create Equipment and Tools

Pierre Baillargeon of Scripps Florida makes use of 3D printers to design new equipment, parts, and tools.

3D printers have become reasonably inexpensive and easy to operate, with instructions and free designs for numerous helpful lab gadgets, such as customized reservoirs and plate holders, all available on GitHub.

This can considerably minimize the cost of purchasing or maintaining new equipment; you can even create your own orbital shaker for less than $100.

These printers also allow you to personalize the design of the part or tool you require, making it easier to address problems swiftly.

11. Contact Technical Help if Everything Else Fails

If you're having trouble with your instrument, there's no shame in contacting the manufacturer to have it repaired.

ajor faults, like preventative maintenance, should be handled by personnel who are familiar with the equipment.

With a little help and your handy toolkit, you might be able to fix the problem yourself by simply phoning technical support.

While most lab housekeeping tasks are covered by university janitorial services and in-house cleaning regimens, some jobs require outside assistance.

A commercial cleaning company can handle a wide range of tasks, including:

●     Cleaning of all air ducts throughout the property.

●     Stain removal and deep carpet cleaning

●     Cleanup after the remodel and construction.

●     The mold cleanup and eradication.

You form a partnership with a firm that provides various services by outsourcing significant assignments to a commercial cleaning company.

You can rely on industry-certified cleaning crews for everything from water and fire damage repair and restoration to graffiti removal.

12. Quality Replacements and Used Lab Equipment

There will surely be occasions when you need to acquire replacements, regardless of how effectively you have conducted your daily cleans, frequent calibration, or even repaired and refurbished older components.

It can be tempting to go with what appears to be the cheapest option and save money on equipment by selecting the less expensive model.

Unfortunately, this is a false economy: as the old proverb goes, "Buy cheap, pay twice." Parts in less expensive equipment items are more prone to wear and tear and are less likely to last.

As a result, choosing high-quality lab equipment over less expensive options usually results in increased durability, especially for frequently used goods.

Take into account the following:

●     Parts for high-quality lab equipment are frequently easier to come by.

●     Cleaning and refurbishing high-quality objects is usually a simpler task.

●     If you only plan to use the item for a short length of time or if your budget is limited, it may be more cost-effective to hire high-quality equipment rather than purchase low-cost alternatives.


The equipment for laboratory cleaning and maintenance should be done regularly and as part of the lab's standard operating procedure.

This will ensure that the equipment's life cycle is extended and that the data collected in the laboratory is accurate. Well, for any further information, visit our website SVAN or reach out to us anytime!