Individuals may wish to set up a home chemistry lab for a variety of reasons. Parents may be looking for ways to interest their children in the sciences. Science teachers may wish to develop new experiments to use in the classroom. Young scientists may hope to build on the chemistry basics that they learn in school by repeating their school experiments and trying new ones. Setting up a home chemistry lab demands tremendous care, attention to details and an understanding of how to maintain a safe environment.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Lab bench
- Heating apparatus
- Tubes, beakers, flasks, bottles and holders
- Sink and disposal container
- Safety goggles
Select an isolated area of the house to set up the home chemistry lab. Household members will appreciate having any fumes from the chemistry lab located far from the rest of the house. Make sure that the area has good lighting or install good lights.
Erect a bench with nearby shelving. Shelves should measure 4 inches deep and at least 9 inches high for bottles of chemicals. Insure a nearby water source, a sink with an open drain, and an earthenware jug where used chemicals can drain from the sink into the jug for disposal.
Set up a gas burner (Bunsen burner) or small electric burner for heating substances near the hookup (electric or gas). Use an alcohol lamp if the work area has neither electricity or gas nearby. Denatured alcohol will fuel the alcohol lamp.
Obtain iron plates or wire gauze on a tripod or ringstand to hold test tubes and flasks while hot. Place test tube, flask and beaker stands and holders near the work station for easy access during experiments.
Stock the home chemistry lab with 250ml and 600ml glass beakers, a 250ml Erlenmeyer glass flask, and four large test tubes.
Place a 12-inch thermometer in its case on a shelf along with a plastic funnel, a tubing pinch clamp, an eyedropper, a glass stirring rod, PH papers, 2-inch vinyl tubing and rubber stoppers (no. 6 two-hole stopper and no. 0 one-hole rubber stopper).
Put polypropylene graduated cylinder (10ml and 100ml) on the shelves along with filter paper.
Tips and warnings
- Always ensure that everyone in the lab wears safety glasses (goggles) during all experiments.
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