Cleaning cuvettes

The highly effective alkaline cleaning concentrate Hellmanex III is ideal for use on glass and quartz glass cuvettes, sensitive optical parts and laboratory equipment made of glass, quartz, sapphire and porcelain. It effectively removes dirt and prevents loosened dirt particles from redepositing. After cleaning, the parts can be rinsed without leaving any residue, including UV/Vis active substances, being left on the optical substances.  


Steps for a clean cuvette

  1. Place the cuvettes in a bath of Hellmanex III diluted to 2 % with water. Clean flow-through cuvettes by pumping the cleaning solution through the cuvette.
  2. The cleaning process can be sped up by gently heating the solution.
  3. Agitate the cleaning solution to boost cleaning performance.
  4. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the cuvettes using ultrapure water. Replace the contents of the cleaning bath at least three times during rinsing.
  5. Blow the cuvettes dry using clean air and leave them to dry out in a dust-free environment. Alternatively, rinse them with a highly volatile solvent, such as ethanol. Then allow the solvent to evaporate.

Important cleaning instructions

  • Avoid extreme changes in temperature – fragile!
  • Avoid exposure to ultrasonic waves. Excessive energy density and/or unfavorable frequencies may break the cuvettes. Cuvettes made of multiple materials (glass, metal, etc.) are especially at risk. Cavitation attacks polished surfaces, rendering them unusable.
  • Do not leave the cleaning solution in the cuvette at high temperature for so long that it evaporates. The increase in concentration and the high pH value may damage the surface of the glass.

Tips for handling cuvettes

  1. Our precision cuvettes are made of glass or quartz glass and have all the advantages and disadvantages (such as the inherent fragility) of these materials. Once the measurement process is complete, we generally recommend that you immediately clean, dry and store the cuvettes in cases.
  2. Do not store the cuvettes open in a corrosive atmosphere, and do not leave the polished windows in contact with liquids for an extended period of time. This could lead to the formation of deposits or stains on the polished surfaces, rendering the cuvettes unusable.
  3. In order to avoid scratching of the precision-polished windows, cuvettes should never come into contact with objects made of hard materials, such as glass or metal.

Important handling instructions

  • Care is required when inserting cuvettes into a metal cuvette holder.
  • When using a pipette to fill cuvettes with liquids, never touch the polished window with the pipette.
  • Never use metal tweezers or pliers to carry or hold cuvettes.
  • Although it is possible to cool an empty cuvette down to a few degrees Kelvin without breaking it. When filled with water and cooled to just a few degrees below the freezing point, the same cuvette may burst, due to water expansion.

Special instructions for cuvettes sealed with stoppers

Cuvettes containing liquid and sealed with stoppers may break if the internal pressure increases. The most common reason for such an increase in pressure is the expansion of the liquid in the cuvette due to a rise in temperature. This may be caused by:

  • heat from an external source, such as thermal conduction via the cuvette holder
  • a chemical reaction in the liquid
  • radiation absorption in the liquid

The following precautions will help prevent cuvettes from breaking:

  1. Fill the cuvette just high enough for the light beam to pass through the liquid unimpeded. This allows the liquid to expand into the remaining air volume if the temperature increases.
  2. If you fill the cuvette to the rim, put the stopper on loosely so that any excess liquid can escape.
  3. Do not force the stopper into place, as this will inevitably damage the cuvette.
  4. Use stoppers with a capillary hole.


Hellma USA Inc.
120 Terminal Drive
11803 Plainview, NY
United States

Phone: +1 5169 3908 88


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