How To Clean Pipette Tips
How To Clean Pipette Tips Properly

How to clean pipette tips? Cleaning pipette tips are very crucial. Keeping your lab equipment clean is crucial for accurate results and maintaining a safe workspace. One of the most essential pieces of equipment to keep clean is the pipette tip. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to clean pipette tips effectively.

Why Cleaning Pipette Tips is Important

Pipette tips are essential for precise measurements in laboratories. Residue or contamination can lead to inaccurate results, which can affect your experiments. Regular cleaning ensures the reliability of your data and prolongs the lifespan of your equipment.

Ensures Accuracy

When pipette tips are clean, they provide accurate measurements. Even tiny residues left in the tips can alter the volume of liquid being transferred, leading to incorrect results. This accuracy is essential for experiments where precise measurements are critical.

Prevents Contamination

Dirty pipette tips can contaminate your samples. Contaminants from previous experiments can mix with new samples, affecting the results and potentially ruining the experiment. Purity is vital in fields like microbiology, chemistry, and medical research.

Maintains Reliability

Reliable data is the backbone of scientific research. Clean pipette tips ensure that your results are consistent and reproducible. If tips are appropriately cleaned, the variability introduced can make your data reliable, leading to correct conclusions.

Promotes Safety

Using clean pipette tips helps maintain a safe laboratory environment. Contaminated tips can spread harmful chemicals or biological agents, posing a risk to lab personnel. Regular cleaning minimizes these risks, promoting a safer workspace.

Extends Equipment Lifespan

Regularly cleaning pipette tips helps extend their lifespan. Residues and contaminants can cause wear and tear, leading to the need for more frequent replacements. Proper maintenance through cleaning helps your equipment last longer, saving money and resources.

Prevents Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination between different samples is a significant concern in laboratory work. Clean pipette tips ensure that materials from one sample do not mix with another, maintaining the integrity of your experiments.

Supports Good Laboratory Practices

Maintaining clean pipette tips is a fundamental aspect of good laboratory practices (GLP). Adhering to GLP ensures that all procedures are performed consistently and correctly, which is essential for achieving valid and reliable results.

Clean Pipette Tips Properly

What Do You Need For Cleaning Pipette Tips?

Before you start cleaning, gather the following materials:

  • Distilled water
  • Mild detergent or cleaning solution
  • A container or beaker
  • A brush or pipette tip cleaner
  • Drying rack or clean paper towels

How To Clean Pipette Tips?

You can clean pipette tips in 2 methods. Both methods are suitable, but it actually depends on your necessity. Here, we will discuss both methods for you step by step. Let’s explore:

Method 1: Soaking for Simple Cleaning

This method is for simple cleaning. Follow the steps:

  1. Disassemble the Pipette: Remove the pipette tip from the pipette. If your pipette has multiple parts, disassemble them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Rinse with Distilled Water: Thoroughly rinse the pipette tip with distilled water to remove any visible residues. Distilled water is preferred because it does not contain impurities that could contaminate the tips.
  3.  Prepare Cleaning Solution: Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing a mild detergent with distilled water in a container or beaker. Follow the detergent’s instructions for the correct dilution ratio.
  4. Soak the Pipette Tips: Place the pipette tips in the cleaning solution and let them soak for at least 10-15 minutes. It helps to loosen any stubborn residues.
  5. Clean with a Brush: Use a brush or pipette tip cleaner to scrub the inside and outside of the tips gently. Make sure to clean all areas thoroughly to remove any remaining residue.
  6. Rinse Again: Rinse the pipette tips with distilled water to remove any detergent and remaining contaminants. Ensure that all cleaning solution is thoroughly washed away.
  7. Dry the Pipette Tips: Place the cleaned pipette tips on a drying rack or clean paper towels to air dry. Make sure they are scorched before using them again to avoid any dilution or contamination of your samples.

Method 2: Rinsing for Deep Cleaning

In our previous method, we explored a simple soaking technique for cleaning pipette tips. Now, let’s delve deeper into method 2: rinsing for deep cleaning. This method is beneficial when you’re dealing with leftover chemicals, sticky substances, or situations requiring a more thorough cleaning. For deep cleaning the pipette tips, follow the steps:

  1. Don the gloves: Before handling dirty tips, put on gloves to protect yourself from any contaminants.
  2. Prepare the tip: Hold the used pipette tip by the flange (the wider plastic part) at the top. Avoid touching the narrow end that comes in contact with your sample.
  3. Target the inside: Aim the nozzle of your squirt bottle filled with distilled water at the narrow opening of the tip.
  4. Blast it clean: Squeeze the bottle to create a steady stream of water that forces its way through the tip, flushing out any residue or leftover chemicals.
  5. Repeat and Reassess: Continue squirting water through the tip until you see no visible signs of residue exiting. For stubborn substances, you might need to repeat this step a few times.
  6. Inspect for leaks: After rinsing, hold the tip upright and gently squeeze the flange. Look for any leaks or drips coming out of the narrow end. A leaking tip indicates it might be damaged and should be discarded.
  7. Rinse from the outside: Once you’re satisfied with the internal cleaning, briefly rinse the outside of the tip with distilled water to remove any residual contaminants that may have transferred during handling.
  8. Direct the waste: Throughout the rinsing process, make sure to direct the water flow and any dislodged residue into the designated waste container.
  9. Air dry completely: Finally, place the rinsed tip on a clean paper towel or drying rack upside down. Ensure all the water evaporates entirely before using the tip again.
Clean Pipette Tips

Tips for Maintaining Clean Pipette Tips

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your pipette tips regularly, especially if you are working with different samples or solutions.
  • Use Filtered Tips: Consider using filtered pipette tips to reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Inspect Tips: Before using, always inspect the tips for any residue or damage.
  • Store Properly: Store your pipette tips in a clean, dust-free environment to maintain their cleanliness.


Properly cleaning pipette tips is essential for maintaining the accuracy of your lab results. By following this simple step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your pipette tips are free from contaminants and ready for use. Regular cleaning not only ensures the reliability of your data but also extends the life of your pipette tips.

I hope you know how to clean pipette tips. Stay tuned to our blog for more laboratory tips and guides!


Can you clean and reuse pipette tips?

Yes, you can clean and reuse pipette tips, but it’s usually better to use new tips to avoid contamination and ensure accurate results.

Can you wash pipette tips?

Yes, you can wash pipette tips. Use distilled water and a mild detergent to clean them, then rinse thoroughly and let them dry completely before using them again.

How do you clean a pipette dropper?

For a quick pipette dropper clean, soak in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes. Rinse well with clean water and air dry completely. Consider using a cotton swab for tight spots.

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