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Laboratory Maintenance

Teaching laboratories are a shared resource. Therefore, the lab instructor for each lab section is required to keep the laboratory organized and clean.

Updated: 03/06/2019


All lab instructors must aid in lab set up. Typically, set up and break down will last between 1-2 hours and will be held during the lab instructor meeting. 

Break Down:

  1. Supplies & materials, glassware, tools, instruments, etc. from the previous lab exercise will be gathered and returned to the stock room OR their appropriate place in the teaching lab (see instructor manual).
  2. Benches will be wiped down including student benches with chairs tucked under bench.

Set Up:

  1. Supplies will be delivered from the stockroom OR their appropriate place in the teaching lab (see instructor manual).
  2. All supplies needed for the lab will be prepared, labeled, and placed in the appropriate work station before lab begins.

At the end of each lab period, instructors must:

  1. Check the supply of lab materials at each station, prepare and refill low materials before the next lab. If you run out of materials contact the stock room.
  2. Organize the lab materials at the instructor bench AND at each student stations.
  3. Refill the paper towel dispensers.
  4. Make sure the students wipe down the student benches with the bottles of stockroom disinfectant before the post-quiz.
  5. Make sure the student students must wipe down the computer keyboards, computer mouse, and microscope knobs with bleach wipes before the post-quiz.
  6. Wipe down the instructor and sink benches.
  7. Check that microscopes are in the storage position and clean. 
  8. Prepare dirty glassware for the stockroom.
  9. Place waste materials in the appropriate waste container

Idaho Falls

In Idaho Falls the first instructor to teach each week must set everything up and the last lab instructor must break down. Please ask the supplies supervisor for the location of the microscope cabinet key. Last lab of the week:

  1. Gather all of the supplies and put them on the cart after lab.
  2. Make sure that the lab is clean and organized (nothing should be left on student benches or the large lab back benches).
  3. Wipe down all benches (and the back counter if it is used) including student benches with stools tucked under bench.
  4. Put away microscopes, make sure to lock the microscope cabinet and place the key in its storage location.
  5. Turn off and unplug the hot water bath if it was used during lab.


Lab instructors are responsible for supervising the collection of dirty and contaminated glassware (slides, test tubes, beakers, flasks, etc.) and are responsible for seeing that all markings are removed from glassware. There are nylon scouring pads in each lab so that students can remove grease pencil markings from the glassware as it is discarded. It is to your advantage to use the grease pencils instead of the felt tip pens. Tubs for dirty glassware will be provided as will slide buckets.

Sharps Broken glass, razor blades, syringes and needles are to be disposed of in the appropriate containers, i.e. broken glass boxes and sharps containers. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING SHARP IN THE WASTE BASKETS!

Chemical Waste Place used or waste chemicals in chemical waste containers and correctly label with the Chemical Waste Form.

At the end of each semester, the lab instructor's are required to attend the final lab inspection. The inspection includes:

  • returning equipment and unused items to the stock room
  • organizing lab supplies
  • cleaning microscopes
  • cleaning hot water baths
  • cleaning refrigerators
  • dust and clean electronics
  • scrubbing all counter tops
  • returning the textbooks and keys

We will use our normal lab instructor meeting during finals week for this lab inspection.