Moisture, chemicals, strong cleaning agents, and other substances can promote corrosion of centrifuge parts and cause centrifuge failure. Improper use can cause damage to rotors and cups. The following are general maintenance recommendations:
- READ YOUR USER'S MANUAL. Follow manufacturer's instructions for maintenance and cleaning.
- Regularly clean the centrifuge interior to prevent damage and avoid costly repairs. When not in use, the centrifuge should be clean and dry.
- Clean all spills immediately (wait 10 minutes to reduce the risk of aerosols).
- Never clean rotors and associated parts with abrasive wire brushes.
- Store the rotor upside down in a dry place with lids or plugs removed, to prevent condensation or moisture.
- For all high speed centrifuges and ultracentrifuges, maintain a log for EACH, individual ROTOR. The log should include run dates, durations, speeds, total rotor revolutions, and notes on rotor conditions.
- Retire rotors after manufacturer's recommended life span (per User's Manual).
- Remove rotors from use that show any sign of defect, and report it to a manufacturer's representative for inspection.
Turn off centrifuge immediately and unplug power cord. DO NOT use centrifuge again until inspected by a qualified service technician.
Hazardous Material Spill
- Turn off centrifuge immediately.
- Keep centrifuge cover closed for at least 10 minutes to reduce aerosolization of hazardous material.
- POST a spill sign on the centrifuge to ensure no one else will attempt to open the centrifuge lid.
- Don appropriate personal protective equipment. This includes proper gloves, safety glasses or goggles, face shield, lab coat, and closed-toe shoes.
- If possible, move bench top unit into the biosafety cabinet or chemical fume hood to clean up the spill. For larger centrifuges, move the rotors into the biosafety cabinet or chemical fume hood to clean up the spill.
- Follow spill, exposure, and incident reporting instructions based on the hazard(s) of the material. For steps in proper clean-up of a hazardous material spill, please visit the Spill Clean-up.
- Place all contaminated protective equipment, gloves, and clean-up materials in the appropriate hazardous waste stream.
- Wash hands and any exposed skin surfaces with soap and water.
- Report the incident to your lab supervisor.
Emergency Response Reminders
- Use tongs or forceps to avoid contact with sharp-edged debris.
- Avoid alkaline cleaners for aluminum centrifuge parts. Manufacturer's often discourage the use of bleach solutions due to risk of corrosion. If a bleach solution is used, follow with a 70% ethanol solution.
- Avoid abrasive wire brushes for cleaning.