Remember the adage about being “part of the furniture?” It usually refers to something or someone that is such a reliable and regular feature that they are taken for granted or seen as a permanent fixture. If you’re fortunate, you might have a long-serving lab tech or two who are like that. The ones that always get their jobs done, and are generally low-maintenance. Even those steadfast lab techs need occasional attention, and so does your dedicated lab furniture.
All furniture—even incredibly durable dedicated lab furniture—requires proper care. We’ll share some cleaning and maintenance tips that will address the dos and don’ts of keeping your lab furniture and countertops in tip-top shape.
Lab Bench Vulnerabilities
But first—what are the risks? Unless a surface is made of diamonds or a solid sheet of Q-carbon (and frankly, could you afford to have it in your lab if it was?), any surface is vulnerable to damage if not cared for properly. Lab bench countertops can be damaged by any of the following:
- Immense weight—stacking too much equipment on one surface can cause structural damage to the average bench. Good news is, our IonBench is equipped with specially-built casters that help support heavy equipment. The weight of equipment can also lead to…
- Scratches and dents—something that is much more likely to happen with laminate, but can still damage Chem Res™ and other epoxy resin countertops if one is not careful.
- Spilled solvents—which is why it’s critical to clean up any spill in your lab long before it has a chance to seep into cracks or the seams of the countertop (our countertop is seamless in design, to help eliminate risk of damage).
- Heat and flame—fire-resistant (which our countertops are) does not mean fireproof, which is why no lab experiment should ever be left unattended.
Lab Bench Maintenance Will Extend the Life of Your Furniture
The epoxy resin used for the IonBench LC and the Chem Res™ countertops used for other IonBench products are largely heat, moisture, and flame resistant. With proper lab bench care, these types of countertops can last for many years.
Here are some tips for preserving the shine and maximizing the longevity of your new countertop.
- Avoid cleaning liquids and supplies that contain abrasives. These can dull or scratch that new-bench shine.
- Avoid waxes, or polishes that contain wax.
- Use mild dish soap and water for daily cleaning.
- With major spills, avoid volatile cleaning compounds such as acetone or paint thinner, which can permeate the lab and compromise future analysis results. Crystal Simple Green is a much safer lab bench care option.
- Avoid scouring pads, except for white Scotch-Brite® Light Duty pads—which must always be used wet.
- We prefer chamois cloths, which are both absorbent and gentle. If those are a little too costly for your budget, cotton rags and towels will also work.
- Metal equipment can mar the surface. Ensure that the rubber feet of your various types of equipment are present and intact.
- If scratches do result from metal contact, use the cleaning process above and apply extra elbow grease to remove any minuscule amounts of metal that may get left behind.
The bottom line is that nothing, and no one, should be considered just “part of the furniture.” There are many different aspects that can contribute to your lab’s success, and proper care of your surfaces is one of them.
To learn more about dedicated lab furniture that is built to withstand the many tests of time and everyday wear, contact us today.