Why Do You Let the Sample Cool in a Dessicator?

Cooling samples in dessicators is a standard lab practice
••• Beaker With Blue Liquid image by explicitly from Fotolia.com

A desiccator is a glass or plastic container that can be sealed in which a small amount of desiccant material is placed in the bottom. A level platform sits above the desiccant. Scientists store chemicals and allow items to cool in the desiccator.


Heated samples and beakers, or weighing dish, are cooled in a desiccator to prevent the sample or beaker from gathering moisture as it cools. The interior of the desiccator is dry due to the desiccant at the bottom and because it is sealed to keep outside, moist air from getting inside.


If a sample is allowed to cool in the open air of the laboratory, it will absorb water from the air. If you need to make precise weight measurements, this added water weight will give an incorrect measurement. Weighing the sample while it is hot also will cause inaccurate measurements because as the sample cools, the weight fluctuates. This fluctuation may be slight, but it can still throw off the results.

Other Uses

Hydrophilic chemicals, or ones that easily absorb water, are always stored in a desiccator. This keeps the chemicals dry and makes them last longer.

Related Articles

How to Calculate Volume Using Density
How to Make a Coffee-cup Calorimeter
How to Make Agar Plates
How to Use an Electronic Balance
What Is Anhydrous Methanol?
How to Make Liquid Calcium Chloride
How to Convert Volume From Density
How to Make Lucas Reagent
Gallons to Kilograms Conversion
How to Make Nutrient Agar at Home
How to Tell if Something is a Physical or Chemical...
What Can Affect Chemistry Results?
How to Calculate the Volume of a Powder Mixture
How to Measure Carbonation in Soft Drinks for a Science...
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
How to Make MSM Crystals
What Causes Smearing in Electrophoresis?
How to Measure Conductivity in Water
The Difference Between a Beaker & a Graduated Cylinder
Physical Properties of Urea

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!