Methods of Storing Reagents and Solutions - labsstudies

Methods of Storing Reagents and Solutions

Methods of Storing Reagents and Solutions

Storage Areas for Laboratory Reagents and Solutions

  • Also known as storage conditions.
  • These are the locations where reagents and solutions are stored.
  • Each reagent and solution has its own storage area.
  • And this is determined by the nature of the reagent or solution itself.

We have six different types of storage area and conditions;

  1. Flat ground surface
  2. Locked cupboard
  3. Refrigeration
  4. Room temperature
  5. Wooden cabinet at ground level
  6. Under water

1. Flat ground surface

  • All solutions and reagents should be kept on a flat ground surface to avoid spilling.
  • In the event of a spill, ground level is safer than above eye level, especially with hazardous reagents and solutions.
  • When reagents/solutions are kept on a flat ground surface, spillage is reduced.
  • Reagents and solutions should be properly organized so that the label can be read and containers are properly spaced.

2. Locked cupboard

  • This type of storage is recommended for highly toxic reagents/solutions.
  • Cyanide-containing compounds ( example Drabkin’s solution)

3. Refrigeration

  • It is a recommended storage condition for reagents and solutions that degrade when kept at room temperature.
  • Refrigeration extends the life of reagents and solutions.
  • The majority of clinical chemistry and haematology reagents require refrigeration.
  • To reduce flammability, other reagents must be refrigerated.
  • Chloroform, Concentrated nitric acid, and Concentrated hydrochloric acid are a few examples that stored in Refrigerator.

Classification of Laboratory Reagents and Solutions by Hazard

4. Room temperature

  • Room Temperature in a Dark Room.
  • Recommended for deteriorating chemicals and reagents when exposed to light.
  • To protect from light, most stains, for example, are stored in a brown bottle or wrapped in aluminum foil.
  • Stock chemicals are also stored in a dark place.

5. Wooden Cabinet at Ground Level

  • Special chemical cupboards are frequently used to store Concentrated nitric acid, Sulphuric acid, and HCl, as well as flammable chemical solutions and reagents such as Methanol, Ethanol, Ether, and Isopropyl alcohol.
  • Metal Cabinets are an alternative to wooden cabinets.

6. Under water

  • Some reagents are explosive when exposed to air and should be stored in water.


Storage Conditions by Types of Laboratory Hazard

Storage of Explosive Reagents/Solutions

  • Store in a well-sealed bottle or in explosion-proof cabinets.

Flammable Reagents and Solutions Storage

  • Bottle with a tight seal, Store in a wooden cabinet on the ground floor, outside in a well-ventilated area.

Corrosive Reagents/Solutions Storage

  • Well-sealed bottle, wooden cabinet storage, low level (ground level),

Harmful Reagents/Solutions Storage

  • Bottle with a tight-fitting lid, stored at room temperature to avoid contact with the skin, mouth, and eyes.

Toxic Reagents/Solutions Storage

  • Under a locked cupboard, a well-stoppered bottle.

Irritant Reagents/Solutions Storage

  • Bottle with a good stopper in a wooden cabinet.

Oxidizing Reagents/Solutions Storage

  • Store in a tightly sealed bottle away from organic materials, reducing agents, and flammable chemicals.


Below is the  Table show Basic Laboratory Reagents/Solutions and Their Storage Condition

Reagents and Solutions  Storage Condition
Giemsa Room temperature, brown bottle
Field Stain A Room temperature, brown bottle
Field Stain B Room temperature, brown bottle
Iodine Stain Room temperature, brown bottle
Eosin Stain Room temperature, brown bottle
Strong Carbol Fuchsin Room temperature, brown bottle
Methylene Blue Room temperature, brown bottle
Wayson’s Room temperature, brown bottle
Drabkin’s: potassium ferricyanide and potassium cyanide Room temperature, Working solution; Refrigeration for Stock Drabkin’s; Cyanide ingredients stored in locked cabinet
Turk’s Room temperature,
Benedict’s Room temperature,
Conc. HCl Room temperature, Cabinet Ground Level
Sulpho-salicylic Acid Room temperature, Cabinet Ground Level
Glacial Acetic Acid Room temperature, brown bottle, Cabinet Ground Level
Methanol Room temperature, Cabinet Ground Level
Formaldehyde Room temperature, Cabinet Ground Level
Glycerol Room temperature
Lysol concentrate Room temperature, Ground Level, brown bottle or white or brown plastic
Jik® concentrate Room temperature, Ground Level, white plastic bottle

The Benefits of Proper Reagent and Solution Storage

  • Prevents reagent and solution deterioration.
  • Renders the reagent/lifetime. solution’s.
  • Prevents accidents such as explosions from occurring.
  • This results in the production of reliable test results.

Disadvantage of Improper Storage of Laboratory Solutions and Reagents

  • Leads to deterioration of reagents and solutions.
  • Shortens the lifetime of the reagent/solution.
  • Leads to the occurrence of accidents like explosion.
  • Leads to production of inaccuracy test results.

Classification of Laboratory Reagents and Solutions by Hazard

  • All laboratory reagents are harmful if taken internally or exposed to skin or eyes.
  • Some are also hazardous if inhaled (irritant), contacted with skin and mucous membranes (irritant or corrosive) so good laboratory practice avoids spilling, inhaling and drinking laboratory reagents and solutions.
  • In addition many reagents and solutions fit into one or more of the 7 hazard categories. If exposed to any of the harmful reagents or solutions, you must consult your supervisor and information in the materials safety data sheet.

Hazardous Laboratory Reagents and Solutions

  • Explosive
  • Corrosive
  • Irritant
  • Harmful
  • Toxic
  • Flammable
  • Oxidizing

Classification of Laboratory Reagents and Solutions by Hazard

Explosive Reagents

  • An explosive is a substance that can be made to explode by being struck or set on fire.
  • They contain highly reactive chemicals that are full of potential energy that can be released with a bang.
  • Example of Explosive Reagents: Benzoyl peroxide and Lead azide.

Corrosive Reagent

  • A Corrosive reagent that causes visible discoloration, destruction, or irreversible changes in living tissue at the point of contact.
  •  Examples of Corrosive Reagent : Wayson’s reagent, SSA, concentrated HCl, concentrated Sulphuric acid , formaldehyde, Jik concentrate.

Irritant Reagents

  • Irritant Reagents that irritates the eyes and throat and can cause breathing problems.
  • Reagents that, while not corrosive, cause a temporary or reversible inflammation of living tissue (such as the eyes, skin, or respiratory organs) through a chemical action at the point of contact.
  • An irritant’s effects can be acute (due to a single high-level exposure) or chronic (due to repeated low level exposures).
  • For example, giemsa stain, glycerol, strong carbol fuchsin, Wayson’s reagent, Benedict’s solution, Conc.HCl, Jik concentrate, and Formalin.

Harmful Reagents

  • Harmful Reagents Something that is harmful is something that causes harm or has the potential to cause harm.
  • Every laboratory reagent and solution is hazardous.
  •  Examples of Harmful Reagents: Field Stain A Field Stain B, Iodine Stain Eosin Stain, Strong Carbol Fuchsin, nd Methylene Blue.

Toxic Reagents

  • Toxic reagent is a reagent that can cause death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent harm to humans or animals through its chemical action on life processes.
  •  Examples of Toxic Reagents :  Giemsa stain, Wayson’s reagent, Drabkin’s solution (highly toxic), Sulphuric acid.

Flammable Reagents

  • Flammable Reagents is reagents that burn easily.
  • The terms flammable and inflammable refer to materials or chemicals that burn easily.
  • Examples of Flammable Reagents: Turk’s solution, glacial acetic acid, and  absolute methanol.

Oxidizing Agents

  • Oxidizing agents are chemicals or substances that spontaneously produce oxygen at room temperature or with minor heating, or that promote combustion.
  • This class of chemicals includes peroxides, chlorates, perchlorates, nitrates, permanganates, and concentrated sulfuric acid.


 A diagram shows Basic Laboratory Reagents and solutions are Classified by Hazard.

Reagents and solutions Hazard
Giemsa Corrosive and toxic due to phenol, harmful and irritant due to Carbol Fuchsin
Field Stain A Harmful
Field Stain B Harmful
Iodine Stain Harmful
Eosin Stain Harmful
Strong Carbol Fuchsin Harmful, Irritant
Methylene Blue Harmful
Wayson’s Corrosive and toxic due to phenol, harmful and irritant due to Carbol Fuchsin
Drabkin’s: potassium ferricyanide and potassium cyanide Highly Toxic due to cyanide
Turk’s Flammable and Corrosive due to acetic acid
Benedict’s Irritant
Conc. HCl Corrosive and irritant
Conc. Sulphuric acid Oxidising and toxic
Sulpho-salicylic Acid Corrosive
Glacial Acetic Acid Flammable and Corrosive
Absolute Methanol Flammable
Formaldehyde Irritant and Corrosive
Glycerol Harmful and irritant
Lysol concentrate Harmful
Jik® concentrate Irritant and Corrosive

Also read :Basic reagents and Solutions for Microbiological tests


Documentation of Laboratory Reagent and Solution Storage

What are the two methods for documenting laboratory reagent storage?

  • Paper-based – a register or logbook is used.
  • E-Computer based – this makes use of an electronic database.


Reagent Storage Register Book

Item Name Qty(units) Requested Date  Requested Qty  Received Date Received Lot # Expiry Date

Importance Laboratory Reagent Storage Documentation

  • Provides evidence and keeps track of laboratory reagent storage conditions.
  • The storage conditions of reagents are critical to their safety and quality.
  • Some reagents, for example, become more dangerous if stored at the incorrect temperature. Chloroform and other volatile chemicals are stored at low temperatures because they become more dangerous at room temperature.
  • Many reagents lose quality when exposed to light or at too high a temperature. Refrigeration and storage in a dark place can help to preserve the quality of reagents.

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