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The term rubberware (or rubber ware) is used to describe any lab item made of rubber, either natural or synthetic.


Rubberware objects are commonly used for tubing, pipette dropper bulb, etc.

Common types of rubber used for such items are silicon rubber and natural rubber. Petroleum-based rubber is almost never used, as it lacks resistance to most common solvents. Latex gloves are commonly used as PPE.

Rubber items are sensitive to oxidation, either from oxidizing solutions or exposure to concentrated/pure oxygen or ozone, which causes it to crack.

Below there's a list of various rubber lab items encountered in the chemistry lab, that are useful for the average amateur chemist. Obviously you will not need them all, but having a few pipette rubber bulbs, latex gloves and tubing are necessary when doing lab work.

Basic rubberware


Similar to rubber stoppers, rubber closures are more often encountered in medical vials and bottles.

Dropper bulbs

Commonly used in pipettes to draw/release liquids. Come in two forms, one thin and translucent and one thick and opaque.

Filter cones

Generally come in 5, 6, 7 or 8-piece set, they are commonly used when vacuum filtering through a funnel.

Flask stand

Used to hold round-bottom flasks, though flat models for holding Erlenmeyer flasks are also available.

Latex gloves

Latex gloves are used as PPE, but aren't suitable when handling strong solvents. They are more commonly used in biology or when washing glassware.

Pipette bulb

Similar to dropper bulbs, they are used in pipettes to draw/release liquids. There are many types of bulbs: Some types are a simple rubber bulb without any squeeze valves; other types have a bulb connected to a tube which has a squeeze valve; another more common type is a rubber bulb connected to a T-shaped tubing and have three squeeze valves.


Rubber policemen are scalpel-like rubber scrapers, used to remove solid compounds from the crystallization dishes.


Made of either natural rubber, silicon rubber or neoprene, stoppers are used to seal many types of glassware, such as flasks or test tubes. Some stoppers have holes, which allow for tubing.


Natural or silicon rubber is used for creating vacuum or to carry cooling fluids in condensers. Rubber tubings are rarely used to carry reagents as they lack good chemical resistance.

Special rubberware

Flask holder

Used for holding flasks and beakers that contain hot or corrosive chemicals where gloves aren't sufficient. Sometimes referred to as "hot hands".


Often used in air-sensitive reactions, can be used to (partially) seal flask openings when inserting/removing liquids, commonly used in multiple-neck flasks to limit the escape of inert gas from the flask. They often used in combination with a cannula. Silicone rubber is the most common type of material used for septa.

Vacuum filtration cap

Such rubber caps, as this one are used when vacuum filtering thick suspensions. They are used to increase the pressure inside the suspension solution chamber.

Safety and handling

Rubber items are sensitive to UV light and air, and will degrade over years or decades.

See also


Relevant Sciencemadness threads