Taking the heat off cleaning your heating bath

Cleaning your heating bath might sound simple enough. And it is. But cleaning, just like any process, can always be optimized. Check out how to clean the heating bath in 11 simple steps that will give you a good clean feeling in no time.

My wife and I decided to treat ourselves last week by visiting a thermal bath. As we were relaxing in the jacuzzi with a few other guests, I started thinking about how they clean this giant tub. I’m no germophobe, but it must be a pretty good process so that nobody gets sick from lounging with other people in hot, bubbling water.

But I doubt it could ever be as good as the procedure I’m about to disclose to you about how to clean the heating bath of your Rotavapor®!

After all, your lab equipment, from chromatography to rotary evaporation, need all the care that a jacuzzi does! Your precious samples rely on it.

Let’s start with safety first! It is imperative that you avoid the risk of short circuit from fluid penetration into the device. To do this, do not immerse the heating bath or rotary evaporator in water or pour water over them. Only wipe down the casing with a damp cloth.

Next you need to decide what kind of a cleaning agent you need. Here is a useful table for you on which cleaning agent to use to remove various types of contamination:

Type of contaminationCleaning agent
LimescaleLimestone remover, acetic acid, sulfamic acid
DirtSand soap, Scotch brite
DustAbrasive fleece, sand soap

Now here are the steps you need to follow to clean the heating bath on a standard rotary evaporator:

1. Make sure your heating bath is turned off: set the On/Off master switch for the heating bath to Off.
2. Make sure your rotary evaporator is off: set the On/Off master switch for Rotavapor to Off.
3. Wait until the bath is at room temperature.
4. Remove the bath from the heating bath base.
5. Empty the bath.
6. Clean the heating bath with the cleaning agents recommended for the type of contamination you are trying to eliminate (see table above).
7. Rinse out the bath.
8. Wipe dry with a paper towel.
9. Fill the bath with heating fluid.
10. Return the bath on its base.
11. Turn the heating bath back on.
12. Turn the Rotavapor back on.

I have a few more tips I can share with you. If you decide to use a different type of cleaning agent, just make sure it is not a non-abrasive cleaner. Don’t be afraid to scrub thoroughly, but without material that can scratch up the surface of your bath. Also, you could use acetic acid to remove tough limescale that has built up on your heating bath.

If you want to see a very satisfying video on how to clean the bath, check out this video:

With these steps, it will take you less time to clean the heating bath than to read this post! And it will be so clean, you could even bathe in it yourself! And if you’re really in a cleaning spree, check out a post on how to clean the glassware of your rotavapor as well.

Till next time,

The Signature of Bart Denoulet at Bart's Blog