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Bottletop dispensers are used for various, sometimes very aggressive chemicals. Nobody wants residues of a previous chemical in a new analysis. Therefore, it is very important to clean bottletop dispensers after use or before using a fresh chemical.
Always clean bottletop dispensers thoroughly when a fresh chemical is used, the dispenser is stored, or sent to service. Furthermore, some chemicals tend to form crystals on the inside of the dispenser that hinder piston movement and liquid dispensing. So, regular cleaning is mandatory to keep crystals from forming and maintain a long life of the bottletop dispenser.
It is extremely important that the dispenser can be easily disassembled and maintained without using too many extra tools. Ideally, the dispenser can be opened and closed with a screw lid, and the piston removed from the cylinder for proper cleaning, for example, when crystals have formed.
Cleaning usually starts by rinsing the dispenser with a neutralization liquid. This liquid depends on the chemical previously used, and can be an acid or base with the correct concentration to neutralize the chemical present in the tubes and the dispenser. Be careful to dispense the liquid into a waste bin and dispose the waste according to waste guidelines for chemicals. Rinsing the dispenser with demineralized water a couple of times is important to remove residues of the liquid before disassembling the device. Afterwards fresh water and a mild detergent, as well as a soft brush can be used to clean the piston and cylinder. Pipe cleaners can be used to clean the tubes. After reassembling the dispenser, rinsing with demineralized water followed by a 99 % ethanol- 1 % glycerol mixture assures that the inner tubes and the cylinder of the dispenser are completely dry. The dispenser can then be packed in a box for storage, or shipping. Watch our short tutorial on cleaning a bottletop dispenser to see all the described steps in motion.