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Cleaning Glassware using Nitric Acid - (Sep/03/2012 )

Hello everyone,

Does anyone out there have any information for cleaning glassware using Nitric Acid? Any other methods to clean glassware are appreciated.



Iam having similar proble. My conicals got contaminated and autoclaving did not solve the problem. My guide directed me to use nitric acid or HCl over night soaking of the glassware but feeling ashamed to ask him the concentration to use and how to use it.


It depends a lot on what you are cleaning and how clean you must get the glassware. If it is DNA, then soaking overnight in 1 M HCl will easily do the trick. If you need "no organics present" clean, then usually pirhana (mixture of concentrated H2SO4 and 30% hydrogen peroxide) is used. Not for the faint hearted or careless.


i used to soak quartz cuvettes in concentrated nitric acid.

other soaks are:

chromic acid (not recommended anymore)

nochromemix (replacement for chromic acid)

both prepared in concentrated sulfuric acid

various detergents (eg alconox, tergazyme, micro, etc)

depends on what you are cleaning off of your glassware.


Cleaning for trace metals, for samples wich will be analized by ICP 10% nitric acid overnight is enough, but depends on your contamination.

-El Crazy Xabi-

You could try with Chromic Solution, it only would take few minutes, and it is not so dangerous as the piranha solution which I only recommend you in very extreme cases.