How to Clean a Centrifuge


A centrifuge is a piece of science equipment commonly found in science classrooms or laboratories. A centrifuge uses a motor to rapidly spin liquid-filled tests tubes that are placed inside the centrifuge’s rotor. There are different types of centrifuges, but they all use the same fundamental principle of separation by rotating a substance around a fixed axis. Regular chemical use in the laboratory environment makes it likely that your centrifuge will become dirty. To avoid potentially unwanted chemical reactions or contamination, you should clean a centrifuge after each use.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • 2 cloths
  • Moisten a cloth with distilled water, so it is damp, not wet.

  • Wipe down the centrifuge housing, rotor and rotor accessories with the moist cloth.

  • Dry the parts with a dry cloth or in a warm-air cabinet set at no more than 50 degrees Celsius.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean the centrifuge with a mild detergent if this does not go against the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Wipe the centrifuge and its parts with alcohol to disinfect.
  • Acidic or high-alkaline cleaners can damage the centrifuge’s finish and corrode its metal shell.
  • Harsh detergents may also damage a centrifuge’s plastic parts.

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  • Photo Credit Chris Sattlberger/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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