Chemical Storage

Updated March 17, 2015

Some quick tips for safe chemical storage are:

  • Store in compatible containers that are in good condition with lids tightly closed.
  • Make sure all containers are labeled with contents and are oriented so label is visible. 
  • Date chemicals such as peroxide formers or chemicals that degrade over time when received and when opened. 
  • Date and include researcher's initials on chemicals generated by research that will be stored in the lab.
  • Store in groups based on compatibility.
    • Compatibility guidance is linked below.  You can also review the “Stability Reactivity” section of the SDS for a chemical for incompatibility information.
    • Where possible, use separate cabinets for separate groups.  Note:  Most fume hoods have a flammable cabinet and a vented corrosive cabinet under them.
    • If incompatible materials must be stored in the same cabinet, provide secondary containment and segregation.
  • Store acids in vented acid cabinets to reduce corrosion.
    • Separate oxidizing acids (e.g. nitric acid) from organic acids (e.g. acetic acid) by use of secondary containers if there is insufficient space to store separately.
  • Flammable liquid storage
    • Store bulk quantities in flammable storage cabinets
    • UL approved Flammable Storage Refrigerators are required for cold storage
  • Provide secondary containment for floor storage.
  • Do not store hazardous liquids above eye level.
  • On shelves, separate solids from liquids and store solids above liquids.
  • Do not stack chemicals on top of each other.   
  • Do not store items in the working space of fume hoods.  Minimize chemical storage in fume hoods.
  • Do not store flammable, volatile toxic, or corrosive chemicals in cold rooms.
View Chemical Storage Table for suggestions for storage organization and compatibility.55.45 KB
Read the Chemical Storage SOP for more details and suggestions for storage options.443.15 KB
Common Storage Problems 18.42 KB