Skip to main content

Lab Cleanouts

EHS works with MIT's departments, labs and centers (DLC) to provide support and guidance during lab moves and chemical cleanouts of all types and sizes.

With most lab cleanouts there is the need to move, dispose of, and decontaminate lab materials and chemicals, requiring resources from the lab and Institute staff, including members of EHS and Facilities.

If you have questions, consult the EHS Standard Operating Procedure on lab moves and decontaminations or contact your EHS Coordinator, Lead Contact, or EHS Team representatives for help.

Preparing for a Cleanout

As you prepare for a move or cleanout, please notify EHS (required) as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition and avoid delays to any potential deadlines. Your EHS Coordinator and Lead Contact Teams will ensure you safely and effectively move and decontaminate your lab’s contents in accordance with the EHS SOP.

It is strongly discouraged that laboratories move chemicals from one laboratory to another on their own. Transportation of chemicals in personal vehicles is prohibited by law and can result in fines to both the lab and Institute.

Financial responsibility for chemical cleanouts, decontamination activities, and moving are ultimately the responsibility of the DLC. Funding should be secured by working with MIT Department of Facilities during the renovation or relocation process of the project.

Dealing With Unwanted Chemicals

The sooner the lab identifies unwanted and expired chemicals and informs the EHS Office the better. The lab representative or EHS representative can email environment@mit.edu or work directly with their Environmental Management Program (EMP) team member to schedule a walkthrough of the lab to scope the volume and types of chemicals and provide cost estimates.

What and How to Clean

Workspaces

When wiping down your workspace, you be sure to clean:

  • Biological areas — Use a 10% bleach or other approved disinfectant, discarding wipes in the trash.
  • Chemical areas — Use a Simple Green* solution, discarding wipes in the trash.
  • Ethidium bromide & other stains — Wipe down these areas twice using a Simple Green solution. Wipes generated from the first wipe down should be collected with your ethidium bromide gel waste; wipes from your second clean may be discarded in the trash. A black-light can be used to find areas that have been contaminated with ethidium bromide.

*Simple Green is available through the VWR Stockroom in the basement of 56 or can be purchased through your office supply vendor.

Pumps

  • If the vacuum pump is sealed with no chance for leakage, then it is OK to leave oil in pump.
  • If not, you will need to drain oil prior to moving. Collect drained oil as hazardous waste and label with a green decontamination sticker.
  • If you are decommissioning a piece of equipment known to have oil, please drain the oil and collect it as a hazardous waste prior to disposing of the equipment. MIT facilities will not collect any equipment without a decontamination sticker.

Lab Equipment

If used with biologicals, equipment-specific cleaning instructions may be found below.

With most lab cleanouts there is the need to move, dispose of, and decontaminate lab materials and chemicals, requiring resources from the lab and Institute staff, including members of EHS and Facilities.

If you have questions, consult the EHS Standard Operating Procedure on lab moves and decontaminations or contact your EHS Coordinator, Lead Contact, or EHS Team representatives for help.

Preparing for a Cleanout

As you prepare for a move or cleanout, please notify EHS (required) as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition and avoid delays to any potential deadlines. Your EHS Coordinator and Lead Contact Teams will ensure you safely and effectively move and decontaminate your lab’s contents in accordance with the EHS SOP.

It is strongly discouraged that laboratories move chemicals from one laboratory to another on their own. Transportation of chemicals in personal vehicles is prohibited by law and can result in fines to both the lab and Institute.

Financial responsibility for chemical cleanouts, decontamination activities, and moving are ultimately the responsibility of the DLC. Funding should be secured by working with MIT Department of Facilities during the renovation or relocation process of the project.

Dealing With Unwanted Chemicals

The sooner the lab identifies unwanted and expired chemicals and informs the EHS Office the better. The lab representative or EHS representative can email environment@mit.edu or work directly with their Environmental Management Program (EMP) team member to schedule a walkthrough of the lab to scope the volume and types of chemicals and provide cost estimates.

What and How to Clean

Workspaces

When wiping down your workspace, you be sure to clean:

  • Biological areas — Use a 10% bleach or other approved disinfectant, discarding wipes in the trash.
  • Chemical areas — Use a Simple Green* solution, discarding wipes in the trash.
  • Ethidium bromide & other stains — Wipe down these areas twice using a Simple Green solution. Wipes generated from the first wipe down should be collected with your ethidium bromide gel waste; wipes from your second clean may be discarded in the trash. A black-light can be used to find areas that have been contaminated with ethidium bromide.

*Simple Green is available through the VWR Stockroom in the basement of 56 or can be purchased through your office supply vendor.

Pumps

  • If the vacuum pump is sealed with no chance for leakage, then it is OK to leave oil in pump.
  • If not, you will need to drain oil prior to moving. Collect drained oil as hazardous waste and label with a green decontamination sticker.
  • If you are decommissioning a piece of equipment known to have oil, please drain the oil and collect it as a hazardous waste prior to disposing of the equipment. MIT facilities will not collect any equipment without a decontamination sticker.

Lab Equipment

If used with biologicals, equipment-specific cleaning instructions may be found below.