Wash bottle

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A wash bottle with distilled water

A wash bottle is a squeeze bottle with a nozzle, used to wash or rinse various pieces of laboratory glassware or to precisely fill volumetric flasks and other flasks.

They can be filled with water or other organic solvents, though they're more often used to wash and rinse glassware and other items, and not always as solvent storage containers, as it's easy to contaminate the liquids from the bottles.


A wash bottle consists of a plastic (PE) bottle with a screwed lid, with the lid perforated by a plastic tube which is bent at one end. Some models have a detachable tip, which can be used to insert smaller amounts of liquid. Others have the plastic tube attached sideways.

Wash bottles are often filled with deionized/distilled water, but can also be filled with various solvents, like alcohols, esters, ethers, etc. Often, colors are used to differentiate between bottles: red (acetone), yellow (isopropanol), green (methanol), white (ethanol), etc. It should be noted that this color identification is not universal, and differs from each manufacturer. Some bottles lack coloring and instead only have the name of the solvent. In general cheap and low-toxicity solvents are used, mainly since wash bottles cannot be sealed completely. As such, only certain types of solvents, like alcohols, ketones, esters and ethers are generally employed.


Wash bottles can be purchased from lab suppliers or online. Make sure to inspect the seal, as poorer quality wash bottles do not seal properly.

DIY wash bottle

A very simple wash bottle can be made by taking a plastic bottle, drilling a hole through its lid and inserting a plastic tube, which is bent at one end. Seal the tube on the lid with glue to hold it steady and prevent any leaking.


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