Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

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KellyLabTech
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School: St Peter Claver College, Riverview
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Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by KellyLabTech »

Hello,

What is the best way of cleaning the wicks that have been submerged in Alkanols? Can I soak them in sudsy water and rinse thoroughly to use again next year or am I better off using new ones each time.
bigmack
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by bigmack »

We always had a labeled set of each Spirit lamp .
6 x Methanol , Ethanol , Butanol , Pentanol and Octanol IIRC . I used to empty the remaining alcohol though filter paper back into a special bottle for storage until next year . Could then store the spirit lamps anywhere .
Having the same burners meant no chance of cross contamination and I didn’t have to relabel burners each time .

Bugger cleaning the wicks , and that also means potentially cleaning the Spirit lamps as well .
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Loopy
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by Loopy »

I always empty spirit lamps into bottles labelled eg "Used Butanol from spirit lamp " So I can store in appropriate area in the chem store and it is ready to be used again for next time. The wicks I dry out in the fume cupboard and store in ziplock bags labelled accordingly eg "butanol wicks". I don't have enough room in my flammable cabinet to store filled spirit lamps. hope this helps.
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Merilyn1
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by Merilyn1 »

Yep - just label the spirit lamps and use the same ones for each chemical each time. I empty the lamps into a labelled bottle like Loopy does, but I put just leave the wicks in the lamps and store in the chem store (which is properly ventilated).

Great that you have reached out for help. We are all full of great ideas for making life simpler!
RosalieL
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by RosalieL »

We don't have enough spirit lamps at this school so unfortunately they do need to be reused (mainly due to the conductivity stars not being able to be used with bunsens these days, so we have to use the burners with metho). I just wash the wicks in hot water in the sink and let them air dry. I don't de-thread them though (is that the right word?) so once they are dry I screw them back on the burners. I have to keep the same screw tops and bases together or they don't stay on! I used to do as the others have said and keep them labelled and re-use the same wicks and burners for the same chemicals at a previous school.
bigmack
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by bigmack »

In my experience ,most wicks can be evaporated an or washed , but the higher alkanols like Pentanol and Octanol are very "oily" and are almost impossible to clean effectively .And they stink to high heaven :yuck:
I found this out the hard way when the Chem teacher decided he now wanted some Octanol and grabbed some of the other Burners and filled them himself and I had to sort the mess out later .
Which was another reason we decided to use the same Wicks and Burners each year .

Also some of our old burners were very old , rusty , leaking and just down right dodgy .
Found a pic of some of the mottley crew before we got new ones .
LOL I think I cobbled those Labels on Chemwatch and as I wasn't allowed to use a colour printer , I drew over the GHS symbols with a Red Pen :cheesy:
Spirit lamps.jpg
The reason I got in thehabit of filtering the spirit back into the saver bottles was due to all the rust and crustys in the burners . :whistling2:
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Merilyn1
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Re: Cleaning of Wicks Used in Alkanols prac

Post by Merilyn1 »

bigmack wrote: 26 Mar 2024, 09:49
LOL I think I cobbled those Labels on Chemwatch and as I wasn't allowed to use a colour printer , I drew over the GHS symbols with a Red Pen :cheesy:

Spirit lamps.jpg

The reason I got in thehabit of filtering the spirit back into the saver bottles was due to all the rust and crustys in the burners . :whistling2:
A "fun fact" - it is quite legal to have labels printed in B&W, although I prefer colour as it does stand out better. I, too, have taken to a red marker on the B&W labels if I've been too short of time (or too lazy) to walk to the colour printer.
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