Syringe Cleaning Tips

The quality of your results from Chemyx syringe pump systems is only as good as the syringe you are using. Learn how to clean a syringe to keep them in good working order for years to come.

General Guidelines

The following maintenance advice will help keep your syringes in good working order, even after years of use, regardless of the chemical composition of the barrel (e.g., glass, acrylic-based, or stainless-steel syringe barrel).

First, always ensure that the solvents you use are fully compatible with all of the components of the syringe assembly. Chemyx has guidelines on this topic here.

Also, use caution when cleaning your syringe. Never force liquid or air through the barrel; this may damage the barrel or cause an injury. Often, rinsing multiple times with a solvent that readily dissolves your sample will work.

For more rigorous syringe cleaning, see the following guidelines:

How to Clean Steel and Glass Syringe Barrels

We recommend flushing your syringe with deionized water or high-purity acetone (upon storage, solvent impurities may cause the plunger and barrel to stick or seize together). High-purity methanol and acetonitrile are also common cleaning agents.

We recommend against using any alkaline cleaning agent in glass syringe barrels (alkaline solvents corrode glass). Additionally, detergent- or phosphate-based cleaning agents may leave behind an insoluble precipitate when left to dry. If you must clean your syringe assembly with such substances, they should be completely flushed out with a solvent such as deionized water or high-purity acetone.

Some syringes lose their accuracy if you completely remove the plunger from the syringe barrel. However, if you must remove the plunger for cleaning, wipe it with lint-free tissue before reinsertion, and flush the syringe assembly with a high-purity solvent. Avoid lubricating the syringe barrel with grease or spray; this is unnecessary, will contaminate your solvent, and may cause the plunger to seize in the syringe barrel.

How to Clean Acrylic Syringe Barrels

Generally, plastic is considered to be disposable. If you wish to reuse a plastic syringe barrel, we recommend rinsing it in deionized water. See the aforementioned caution on using detergent- or phosphate-based cleaning agents.


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