9 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Pipettes

9 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Pipettes


  • Post By :

  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 23 Oct,2023

For accurate and precise liquid handling in a laboratory context, pipettes must be used correctly. By avoiding frequent errors, you can increase the validity of your findings and avoid contamination.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid when using pipettes:

Incorrect calibration

Mistake: Using pipettes that are out of calibration or failing to periodically calibrate them can result in erroneous volume measurements.

Solution: Schedule regular pipette calibration checks and maintenance, and abide by the manufacturer’s recommendations for calibration intervals. If pipettes are no longer within acceptable tolerance limits, adjust them or replace them.

Insufficient Tip Attachment

Mistake: Leakage, inaccurate results, or contamination might happen from pipette tips that are improperly attached or mismatched.

Solution: Ensure that the pipette is fitted with high-quality tips that are tightly fitting. Examine them for any gaps or loose connections before pushing them firmly onto the pipette.

An incorrect volume setting

Mistake: Using a pipette with the volume adjusted incorrectly can result in the delivery of the incorrect volume of liquid.

Solution: Before using your pipette, double-check the volume setting. Make that the display on digital pipettes indicates the desired volume. Use the adjustment mechanism on adjustable pipettes to accurately set the volume.

Liquid residues and air bubbles:

Mistake: The volume administered can be changed by liquid residues in the pipette or air bubbles stuck in the tip.

Solution: Follow the right pipetting procedures, which include pre-wetting the tip and letting air bubbles out. To avoid liquid residues, touch the tip of the pipette to the interior wall of the receiving vessel after use.


Mistake: Cross-contamination can occur when a pipette is used for multiple samples without having its tips changed or properly cleaned.

Solution: Change tips between samples, particularly if you’re using several chemicals or samples. Before transferring to a new sample, rinse the pipette if necessary with a suitable solvent, such as distilled water or a suitable buffer.

Aspiration and dispensing errors:

Mistake: Improper aspiration or release of the plunger can result in inaccurate volume measurements.

Solution: To reduce the possibility of introducing air bubbles or splashing, aspirate and dispense gently and steadily. Use the blowout feature on your pipette if it has one to ensure precise distribution.

Technique Inconsistency:

Mistake: Variable outcomes and decreased reproducibility might occur from failing to establish a reliable pipetting procedure.

Solution: Practice and perfect a reliable pipetting method. To preserve uniformity in results, make sure that all laboratory staff adhere to the same pipetting methodology.

Tips for Overfilling or Underfilling:

Mistake: Improper pipette tip filling can cause measurements of volume to be inaccurate.

Solution: Fill pipette tips in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. To guarantee precise measurements, it’s usually recommended to fill the tip to just slightly above the calibration line.

Undervaluing ergonomics:

Mistake: When using pipettes, improper ergonomics can eventually cause discomfort or even harm.

Solution: Use pipettes with customizable settings and ergonomic grips. To reduce tension, pay attention to your posture and hand placement.

You can improve the accuracy and precision of your liquid handling operations and maintain a contaminant-free laboratory environment by avoiding these common blunders and sticking to best practices in pipette use.

About Author