How do I choose the right laboratory glasswasher?

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How do I choose the right laboratory glasswasher?

The laboratory glasswasher is often seen as the workhorse of the laboratory. After all, the requirement for clean, disinfected and dried glassware is critical to the continued operation of the laboratory.  But choosing the right glasswasher can be difficult given the variety of models available.  Throughput, capacity, nature of contamination and budget are all considerations for selecting the most suitable option.

Here we look at some of the key criteria for the selection process:

What am I washing? 

For low strength acids and bases as used in many school or college laboratories entry level lab glasswashers which have a lower grade steel interior will be suitable and with WRAS compliance will satisfy water regulations.

Research, QC or industrial labs will likely be working with contaminants that are more aggressive so a more resistant, higher grade steel (316L) interior will be required as featured on the SMEG GW1160.

Glasswashers will have either powder or liquid detergent dispensing as an option. Whilst powder detergent models can be cheaper, they require manual filling so liquid detergent pumps are much more convenient. When working with petrols or oils which can destroy rubber valves and seals, special ‘Petrol’ versions are recommended.

What baskets do I need?

Basic baskets utilise a rotating swing arm so suitable for cleaning beakers and plates. For items such as narrow neck flasks, volumetric cylinders or burettes, using a rack with injectors allows for water and detergent to reach all the way up into the glassware ensuring thorough cleaning.

Do I need drying?

Filtered forced hot air drying can be used to dry your cleaned glassware so it’s ready for use at the end of the wash cycle.  If washing narrow neck flasks and cylinders, forced air can remove condensation left after the wash process. A model with forced air drying can include a HEPA filter ensure particulates are not left on surfaces.

How much space is available?

Glasswashers can be underbench or freestanding. Larger uprights or wider models feature storage cabinets handy for detergents or clean glassware whilst a slimline model is available for laboratories with limited space.

What services do I have available?

The washer will require at least one drainage point. If opting for a steam condenser which will remove vapour from being released into the lab, a second drain is needed.

Cold water feed is standard, but having a hot water feed can increase wash cycle times. Power is another factor that will improve wash times. A 3-phase power supply will enable quicker heating times over those of a 230V supply.

Demineralised water enables a final rinse of low conductivity water and new or existing systems can be connected to a laboratory glasswasher. These can be pressurised, floor tank or gravity fed. SMEG’s basic line washers now come with a boost pump as standard to ensure a pressurised connection is available.

Should I take up an extended warranty?

Camlab offer a 12 month labour warranty alongside a 2 year parts warranty on all SMEG glasswashers as standard. Extending your warranty either on an annual or 5 year plan will provide peace of mind and ensure you are up and running swiftly in the event of a breakdown. Glasswasher’s require routine maintenance and Camlab’s team of service engineers are on hand to keep them running so the lab can continue to function to full capacity.

Camlab’s experts are on hand to field any questions you have on choosing the right glasswasher for your lab. If you would like to discuss your particular washing requirements please contact our customer support team at

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