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How to Safely Heat a Test Tube

This is an illustration demonstrating the proper technique for safely heating a test tube.

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Equipment Needed

Setup

  1. Fill the test tube with the contents to be heated (test tube should not generally be filled more than 2/3 full). Place the test tube in the test tube rack.
  2. Using the technique learned in class, use the striker to ignite the Bunsen burner. Adjust the flame so that you get a "roaring blue flame".
  3. Place the test tube with its contents into the jaws of the test tube clamp.
  4. Holding the test tube clamp at the back end, place the bottom of the test tube into the Bunsen burner flame. The test tube should be pointed away from all people at all times.
  5. It should be held at a 45° angle, and should be continuously moved, to prevent any one portion from being heated too strongly.

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