A rotary evaporator serves as a valuable tool in many labs for gently removing solvents from samples through evaporation. Failing to care for this tool properly, however, can result in operational issues that can cause corrupted or low-quality products. To ensure that this important instrument works properly, follow these tips on how to maintain a rotary evaporator.
Clean Your Rotary Evaporator Regularly
Cleaning your rotary evaporator regularly is essential for optimizing its performance and preventing cross-contamination between samples. If you are tight on time, one option for cleaning is to flush the evaporator with acetone. While this method isn’t very thorough, it will provide a quick clean.
Ideally, you should opt for a more thorough cleaning option that involves taking apart the apparatus and washing each removable component separately. When doing so, make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid accidentally damaging the machine.
Change the Water in the Bath
Another tip for maintaining a rotary evaporator is to change the water in the bath frequently. Many people refrain from changing the water in their evaporator’s bath because they don’t believe it’s necessary. However, the water can accumulate dust and algae growth. In addition, leaving water in the bath for days or even weeks can lead to rust, which can permanently damage the machine.
Inspect and Replace Sealing Rings
Over time, you may need to replace certain components of your rotary evaporator to keep it working properly. Some of the most frequently replaced components are the sealing rings. While cleaning the seals on a regular basis will prolong their lifespan, these components are prone to damage and will likely need to be replaced around once every year. To avoid operating your rotary evaporator with a faulty sealing ring that can impair vacuum degree, inspect them for signs of abrasion or corrosion and replace them accordingly.