Using a Desiccator

The desiccator is used to store dried samples in a dry atmosphere. It should not be used to dry an object, but to maintain an already dried object indefinitely in a dry condition.
  1. To open - slide lid horizontally across the top to one side until it comes off. Use one hand to hold the bottom of the desiccator while using the other hand to grasp the knob.
  2. To close - place lid partly on the top and slide across until desiccator is completely closed and then rotate lid gently in both directions.
  3. Do not attempt to lift lid off vertically.
  4. Make sure the lid has enough grease around the ground glass rim - if necessary, spread Vaseline uniformly on the rim. When the lid is properly seated, the greased rim will appear as shown in Figure 2.
  5. If the desiccant appears wet or clumpy, it probably needs to be replaced with new dessicant.  It is helpful to have a small amount of indicating desiccant present.  When the color changes to pink, the desiccant should be replaced.
  6. Desiccants should be handled in the hood and added carefully, wearing goggles and lab coat. Desiccant should not coat the sides or plate of the desiccator.
desiccator seal

Figure 1. Improperly sealed desiccator.
Note the cloudiness along the rim.

desiccator seal

Figure 1. Properly sealed desiccator.
Note that the rim is clear.