Centrifuge 101: Best Practice Tips

When operating a centrifuge, there are things you can do to that will help ensure your success. Here is a guide to help you keep your centrifuge process on track.

Using the right size tube for the correct centrifuge is imperative for the success of your analysis. There are many different types of centrifuges out there (see Labnet's quick reference guide to finding the right centrifuge, our Centrifuge Selection Guide), and knowing which one you need is very important. Since most tabletop centrifuges use 1.5mL tubes, you wouldn’t want to use a .5mL tube, unless you have an adapter equipped. If you don’t take the time to know what type of centrifuge you will be using, and what is the appropriate tube size, the tube might break and your sample ruined.

Make sure you balance your tubes. If you’re placing two test tubes in your centrifuge, one sample being .5mL, and the other being 1mL, your results will not be precise. Once your tubes are at equal volume your next step is to balance them in your centrifuge. To do this, place your tube samples directly opposite each other. If you only have one sample, there is an easy solution. Take the same size tube, and fill it with the same amount as your sample, only with water.

The next thing you’ll want to do, after you make sure your samples are the same volume and your tubes are balanced, is to secure the rotor lid. Once the lid is secured you can close the centrifuge (the lid may also have a lock mechanism in place).

Last, but certainly not least, is to check the settings on the centrifuge. Generally speaking there are two settings on most centrifuges: time and speed. When deciding what speed you’re going to use, you should always make sure it’s the correct speed for the tubes you are using. You don’t want the tubes to break. Here is a handy tool to help you calculate the right speed when using a centrifuge.

If you follow these best practice tips, you will help ensure your success when using a centrifuge. Call us to discuss your centrifugation needs at 866-650-0314 or check out our large selection of laboratory centrifuges on