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Why Chemists Rinse Glassware Three Times (And Why You Should)

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In my previous life, I was a lab technician in a chemistry lab. There he used only a fraction of the knowledge he had gained from studying chemistry for four years. I left that industry over ten years before him, and I have very few habits left, especially when it comes to glassware.

I love chemical glassware. I have a (admittedly awful) Erlenmeyer flask tattoo on my lower back and I tend to gravitate toward kitchen utensils that look like they might be in a lab. In school, I didn’t mind being splashed with an acid bath while “washing the dishes”, that is, cleaning the beaker, the round bottom, and the triangle of all organic and inorganic substances stuck inside. After soaking the cleanser in the acid bath and a neutralizing splash in the base bath, rinse each glass piece three times to remove any last residue from the bath.

The triple rinse isn’t a personal favourite, but it’s what everyone does, and it’s what fellow undergraduate Trevor was told to do when he first explained the dishwashing process. 90% of the residue is removed,” he explained. I find myself rinsing a particularly dusty glass three times.

To confirm what Trevor told me 13 years ago, and to get a little geeky, I went to: Alconox website See if you’ve had similar advice. (Alconox makes industrial cleaning supplies similar, if not the same, that they used in their undergraduate labs.) I was not disappointed:

Various college and university glassware cleaning procedures requiring three rinses (triple rinse). We are also aware of past documentation published by early participants about the use of detergents for cleaning laboratory glassware from manufacturers of laboratory glassware. The document recommends 3 rinses. Diluted by two orders of magnitude. Theoretically, you can leave 1% of what was in the container each time you empty it, so it will be diluted 1:100 with fresh rinse water with each rinse. Three rinses reduces by six orders of magnitude any water-soluble residue that may have been present in the dirty wash solution.

Is this overkill for your kitchen glassware? yes.I doubt we’re dealing with reagents or chemicals that pose a threat in the form of residues, but there are moments when a triple rinse feels justified, like when rinsing a wine glass or beer glass. Snobs take glassware cleanliness almost as seriously as chemists. “Beer clean” is all about— Dust and residue free standards aimed at getting the most out of your beer.from craft beer.com:

A clean glass of beer does not contain any impurities such as sanitizer residue, beer, dirt, food, detergents, grease and sebum. [sic], lipstick, lip balm, boogers, or anything else that provides a place to cling to the escaping CO2. These areas of dirt act as nucleation sites, allowing bubbles to attach to points and collect. You’ll soon see any hidden residue left behind.

… of the sake brewers association draft beer quality manual The (DBQM) states that a beer clean glass is one that “forms a proper foam head, allows racing during consumption, and never shows specks of foam adhering to the sides of the glass of liquid beer.” I’m explaining.

Air bubbles inside a beer glass are the most obvious sign that the glass is not clean beer. I don’t care what’s causing those nucleation sites, but I don’t want to drink it, and neither do you.

Make the glasses “beer clean” (Or wine clean if you’re a wine drinker), wash separately from other tableware, allow to air dry to keep the glass free of lint and fibers, and rinse quickly before filling with beer (or wine). How many rinses you do is up to you, but I always do him 3 times to remove as many potential nucleation sites as possible (or at least 99.9% of them).

Why Chemists Rinse Glassware Three Times (And Why You Should)

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