From educational to high-tech pharmaceutical laboratories, having the right equipment is imperative to conducting tests and receiving quality results. Many laboratories will have specified equipment based on their industry, such as a chromatography laboratory’s ability to use 96-well plates or vials, even though vials are typically standard in all industries. Regardless of industry, there are a few must-have supplies for laboratories that every researcher needs.
At the top of the list of essential items for laboratories is safety supplies. Safety should not be overlooked in any capacity in a laboratory where accidents can be detrimental to a worker or student’s health. Gloves, lab coats, aprons, protective eyewear, and an eyewash station are highly recommended to keep laboratory workers safe during testing.
An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to sterilize equipment and tools used in the laboratory. Laboratories must be completely free of any outside bacteria or pollutants, as these can alter test results. An autoclave will keep all laboratory tools sterilized and further ensure the safety of workers using the items.
Glassware can come in various forms to help conduct experiments. Beakers, vials, droppers, and bottles are all examples of common glassware used in laboratories. Glassware can be used for multiple reasons in a laboratory, such as mixing substances, handling materials, or storing materials. These items can often come in plastic as well; however, glassware can be heated directly in the glass container, which is a desirable attribute for most laboratories.
Heat sources are highly important in laboratories. Bunsen burners are often a common choice for laboratories as well. However, the open flame can be a safety hazard if there are flammable substances around. Hot plates do not have an open flame and offer more precise heating, making them an important piece of must-have supplies for laboratories.