Organization is crucial in a laboratory. A good way to store utensils is to separate them into materials, i.e. rubber, scrap metal, scrap glass, chemicals, etc. The more meticulous one is, the easier it will become to locate needed materials for a procedure. Safety First!
: There are certain safety rules you must follow, and these should be present within a given procedure. As a general rule, ALWAYS Use chemical gloves, an old coat, and safety goggles. Do not drink or eat during a procedure. Use closed toe shoes (no sandals). Also, experiments producing gas should be done outside or under a ventilation directing device. Remember that a safety shower and wash station is readily available in the home in the form of a shower, sink, or hose. Please watch this video, as it is very comprehensive on home chemistry safety: Home Science Safety VideoAcids/Bases:
An acid contributes hydrogen cations (protons) to a solution, whereas a base donates an electron pair (this is a simplified definition). When diluting an acid,
pour the acid into water (or base). A video introduction on acids and bases (30 min). Waste:
The lab must be meticulously clean while not in use. There must be two separate waste receptacles: one plastic pail for hazardous waste (i.e., broken glass, flammable substances ) and another for regular waste. For hazardous chemicals, methods of disposing are usually on the labels of bottles. If in doubt, do some research on local recycling and collecting centers. Labeling:
Make sure to always label chemicals stored in vials correctly. A rigorous approach would require that molar concentrations and safety information also be labeled. Also label storage compartments with their contents (see picture). These compartments would vary depending on the scope of each lab, though a good rule is to store tools and spare parts separately. Environment:
It is always a good idea to build your lab near a window or well ventilated area. Make sure that you save space by using organizers as depicted in my mini lab setup. Good lighting is important when carrying out experiments. It's also a good idea to have a designated area outside of your house for experiments which may require it. Always know what you are doing in an experiment, as it may not be stated explicitly that gas products may form. Lab Aesthetics:
A poorly conceived lab will just look like clutter. It is important to make it stand out - it will add a very nice vibe to your house. You should store large containers out of sight and only have a few chemicals on display. Also an eye-catcher is clean and shiny equipment. Have your favorite flask out. Take Pride in your work. How many people have the opportunity to have a lab in their house?