Lab “Chi”

Hello everyone. Looking for any tips/suggestions on how to organize my home lab so everything’ll flow while I’m formulating. Seems like I’m all over the place sometimes (unorganized). Home formulators/crafters feel free to chime in on how you like to set things up. I’m thinking about purchasing a stainless steel racks to place/organize raw materials so I’m not toting them back and forth from a closet, and also purchasing long stainless steel table for weighing, mixing, etc.

Thanks in advance for the input!


  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I would definitely recommend the stainless steel table because it will make cleaning and sanitising much easier.

    My preference for a layout is to place the scales where there is room next to them to line up all the raw materials I will be using in the formula in order.

    Store similar materials together for ease of locating items and have them clearly labelled.

    Hope this helps
  • This technically isn't "chi" related but when storing raw materials, keep your acids away from your bases and keep your oxidizers away from the flammables!
  • @ozgirl and @gld010, great tips thanks!

    @ozgirl, now that you mentioned it, I’m going to change the location where I was originally going to weigh everything, and perhaps a separate table to place my mixer.
  • My 'home lab' has two closets with the raw ingredients, the emballage, beakers etc and safety stuff, like dust masks, goggles, apron etc. all labeled + a storage for the jerry cans of distilled water.

    A  huge stainless steel table with my three scales, milligram scale, gram and kilogram scale. And two simple bottle warmers for au bain marie heating of the phases (they can hold a 250 ml beaker, the volume that I  use the most). I don't have a overhead mixer yet, so everything else is in the closets, pH meter etc. There's also a metal rack on the table where I place the glasswork to dry when it's clean. Behind the closets I have a small model dishwasher which is only used for 'lab dishes'.

    I have no rugs, carpeting or unnecessary items to minimize particles in the air.
    And a huge 2 by 2 wall canvas of Mendeleev's Periodic Table of Elements.   ;) 
  • @Doreen, thanks for the input! Very helpful! Time to start shopping for that stainless steel table and storage containers! Maybe a trip to IKEA for some storage cabinets. Thanks again. Very exciting. I’ve got all my equipment except for a pH meter. I read on a thread that a Hanna portable meter will serve the purpose.
  • @tanelise
    You're welcome. :blush:
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited April 2018
    the R&D section of our lab (which is also used for QC) is arranged in such a fashion that you start on one side and work your way over to the other as you carry out the process of manufacturing batches, so you have everything to hand and spend the least possible amount of time walking backwards and forwards between different parts of the lab

    the balances are on one side, the hot mix area and Greaves mixer are on the bench next to them, the pH meter, viscometer etc. are adjacent to the hot mix area, on the opposite bench, and the sink is on the other side of the the balances, so you end up going in a circle (or more accurately, a parallelogram)
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • @Bill_Toge, excellent! Thank you!!!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    I have 3 stainless tables set up in a U and I sit in the middle.  One table is a weigh station with ingredients & scales and heating elements.  Spin 90 degrees to the next table equipped with mixers and homogenizer.  Spin 90 degrees to the next table with pH meter and associated finishing equipment/additives and containers for bottling.  No walking required.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details
  • @MarkBroussard, wish I had the space for this set-up! I love it!
  • @MarkBroussard, of course I’m assuming your tables are quite large...
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