Everything You Need to Know about Pipette Maintenance

Just like other lab equipment, pipettes need regular preventative maintenance to operate consistently and accurately. Lab managers understand the importance of regularly servicing and maintaining all their equipment and pipettes are no different. The liquids you handle every day during your workflow needs accurate, precise, and contaminant-free pipettes to ensure the integrity of your results.

Best Practices for Pipette Maintenance in the Lab

From daily pipette checks to the correct storage and servicing of instruments and equipment at the right time, following our process will ensure reliable results. Different devices like positive- or air-displacement pipettes require preventative maintenance to ensure consistent operation. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain your pipettes if you want to keep the accuracy of your liquid handling workflows.

To help you get started, here are five best practices to adopt for the preventative maintenance of your pipettes used in the lab.

  • Clean Your Pipettes
  • A contaminated pipette will render all related workflows and assays useless. Ensure you follow the guidance from Gilson to clean the external and internal sections of your pipettes. Determining how frequently you need external cleaning depends on your current application and how often you are using the pipette.

    Always follow the user instructions when cleaning your pipette externally using an approved cleaning solution. Additionally, take care not to submerge your pipettes during the process and instead use lint-free tissues or soft cloth with a soap solution. Wipe the entire pipette and if it’s very dirty, use soft plastic bristles to prevent damaging the device while removing grime or dust.

  • Conduct a Visual Inspection on Your Pipettes
  • Inspect all pipettes regularly for signs of damage or corrosion that will influence your results. Check all elements of the device, making sure there are no cracks, obvious damage, or early signs of corrosion (especially if you handle bioactive contaminants regularly).

    A regularly completed two-minute pipette inspection will alert you to damage or corrosion early and help you avoid using a compromised instrument in your workflow. Check the button and ensure it is straight and doesn’t show any signs of cracks or chemical damage. Any damage to your pipette could affect your results.

    Figure 1. PIPETMAN® single channel pipette with labeled parts

  • Perform a Functional Tests on Your Pipette
  • To check if your pipette is working as designed, perform a functional test regularly, as this will quickly alert you if there are any issues with the device. Set the pipette to its maximum volume and test the movement of the button, the piston, and the ejector. If the movements aren’t smooth and feel jerky, you may need to service the device.

  • Conduct Regular Preventative Maintenance and Calibration
  • Cleaning and testing will keep your pipettes working as designed but you’ll still need to perform preventative maintenance and calibration as stipulated by the user guide. Using the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure consistent results when done properly.

    Preventative maintenance includes replacing wearable parts like seals and o-rings and regreasing the mechanical systems. We recommend you look for your local Gilson representative to take on your maintenance and calibration tasks for you to ensure your pipettes remain compliant and accurate at all times.

  • Develop Maintenance Procedures for Different Workflows
  • The best approach is to take all these elements (cleaning, inspection, functional test, maintenance, and calibration) to create a plan that will work for your lab. Preventing cross-contamination requires regular cleaning and decontamination while inspections, tests, and services will ensure your pipettes provide accurate and reliable results during your liquid handling workflows.

    If you have any questions about how to clean or maintain your pipettes, you can contact your Gilson Authorized Service Provider for more advice. For any kind of technical assistance, Gilson is only a phone call away and we are always willing to help. Guaranteeing your results starts with a properly cleaned and maintained pipette.

Optimize Your Liquid Handling and Pipetting Processes with Gilson

Eliminating pipetting errors requires disciplined staff who understand what factors could influence their accuracy and precision during daily workflows. Gilson’s global network of service centers provides technical support and services for all our pipettes and instruments. For detailed instructions on how to clean every element of your pipette, follow the user instructions that came with the device. Our guide provides detailed information on external and internal cleaning, chemical decontamination methods, and instructions on what parts are autoclavable. You can also buy level one or two service kits from your local Gilson representative.

Gilson’s technicians are trained to help you maintain the highest levels of traceability and quality. Our facilities operate under ISO 8655 guidelines and provide ISO 17025 accredited calibration services. For peace of mind and increased confidence in your results, Gilson provides extensive technical support, instrument maintenance, and calibration services that help our customer’s instruments work like new.

If you need help improving your pipette maintenance or analytical workflows, contact Gilson to discuss your needs.

After Your Pipette Purchase, We’re Here to Help

Our commitment to your product satisfaction only just begins with your purchase. We have dedicated global service, support, and training teams that are there to help you maintain the maximum performance of your pipettes, make your lab life easier, and ensure the reliability of your data.