How to Clean a Lab Bench

Updated February 21, 2017

A lab bench needs cleaning before and after each experiment. Cleaning a lab bench removes any dangerous substances and keeps the area safe. It also gets rid of materials that could contaminate samples in sensitive experiments, helping you achieve more accurate results and conduct successful experiments. Using both bleach and ethanol to thoroughly clean a lab bench destroys even small particles like traces of DNA.

Wear latex gloves and tie up your hair if you have long hair.

Remove any loose items from the bench surface, including pipettes, beakers and test tubes.

Make a mixture of one part bleach and nine parts water.

Dip a paper towel in the bleach mixture and use it to wipe the bench surface.

Make a mixture of seven parts ethanol and three parts water.

Dip a paper towel in the ethanol solution and use it to wipe the bench surface. Let the bench surface dry.

Dip a paper towel in the bleach solution and use it to wipe the bottom surfaces of the loose items you previously removed from the bench. Place them back on the bench.


Keep the bleach solution and paper towel nearby during the experiment. In case of spills, quickly spot-clean the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Latex gloves
  • Bleach
  • Ethanol
  • Water
  • Paper towel
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About the Author

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.