1. Keep Your Device Clean
No matter how well-calibrated your device is, it won’t deliver accurate or consistent readings if it isn’t clean. That’s why it’s vital to perform frequent cleanings to ensure that your spectrophotometer is free of dirt, dust, grime, and other contaminants that can obscure measurement results.
When cleaning your equipment, it’s crucial to follow the best practices outlined in your user manual to avoid damaging the device and invalidating your warranty. Avoid using any harsh or abrasive tools or substances when cleaning your spectrophotometer.
You should also consider your environment when determining cleaning frequency. For example, an instrument stored in a dusty, poorly ventilated closet will require more routine cleanings than one contained in an air-conditioned office.
2. Preserve Your Samples
Like a dirty instrument, dirty samples will not produce accurate color data. Poorly sanitized samples can also contaminate your measurement device and corrupt all subsequent samples. You can exercise proper handling and storage techniques to promote lasting preservation and ensure sample purity.
3. Calibrate Your Device Regularly
You can reset your device to its original factory settings to calibrate your spectrophotometer and maintain device accuracy. It’s a good rule of thumb to calibrate your instrument at the start of each project or every two to four hours. In addition to accurate results, frequent calibration also makes it easier for your spectrophotometer to return to its calibrated state after each reset.
If you’re unsure how to calibrate your spectrophotometer, try following these steps:
- Let the device warm up for at least 10 minutes.
- Adjust the chamber light to the desired wavelength.
- Prepare a blank sample, using a Kim wipe to remove oils from the cuvette.
- Load the blank cuvette into the chamber.
- Close the lid and wait for the measurement to conclude.
- Calibrate the device by pressing the “zero” button.