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Tips to Keep Samples Cold Without Ruining Your Lab Equipment

Scientist testing cold DNA samples

Keeping your samples cold can involve some trial and error. The heat generated by a rotating motion or by your lab equipment, whether a centrifuge, vortexer, shaker/rocker , rotator/roller, or homogenizer, can degrade the DNA in your sample. And have you ever had a shaker stop working right after you put it in the refrigerator?

There are generally two ways to approach these issues: You can either buy an instrument with a refrigeration option or use an ambient instrument in a cold room or refrigerator. MIDSCI offers solutions for both. In the meantime, we have included some tips to help keep samples cold — without ruining your lab equipment in the process. 

How to Use Bench Equipment in a Cold Room: 

Arctic temp family of laboratory refrigerators.

  1. Plan to be ahead of schedule.
    Ideally, equipment should be designated for bench use or in a cold environment, but that is not always the case. If the equipment is used in both environments, place the instrument in the new environment at least 24 hours before you need to use it. If you are taking it out of the refrigerator, let it sit on the bench for 24 hours; if you are putting it in a refrigerator, let it cool for 24 hours. This will help reduce condensation in the unit. More on that below.
  2. Be mindful of condensation.
    The cold environment will likely have an outlet inside, such as those found in a glass door refrigerator or incubator.

    If a power cord needs to be run outside into an ambient environment, try to limit the air exchange. Warm air will create condensation in a cold environment, which can cause electrical shortages in the equipment as well as potential contamination issues.
  3. Save time and money.
    Condensation can be reduced significantly by following the steps outlined above. Once the metal, plastic and electronics have acclimated to the new environment, you are ready to move forward with your lab work.

    Due to immediate needs, labs often move a piece of equipment in and out of a cold environment. The resulting condensation settles on the circuit board or electrical connections, which can cause a blown fuse or short out the motor and/or electrical components. After the frustration settles, it is sometimes cheaper to buy a new unit than to attempt any repairs — which raises the level of frustration all over again. 


Options for Cold Storage Equipment:


MTHC-1500 Refrigerator vortexerInstead of moving equipment back and forth between different environments, another solution is to use an instrument with a refrigeration option.

MIDSCI carries a variety of cold storage equipment, including:


For cold and temperature-sensitive materials, finding safe and reliable storage is key. Send us a message or fill out the form below if you need help finding the right cold storage equipment for your laboratory or research facility.

MIDSCI Offers Top Quality Lab Solutions for Cold Storage

MIDSCI is a leading consultative partner for scientific researchers. Whether you are replacing bench equipment or upgrading to a new ArcticTemp glass door storage refrigerator, MIDSCI has a cold storage solution for your lab. We are proud to offer a variety of lab equipment and research supplies, including cold storage equipment, from the industry’s most respected brands. Our phones are always answered by REAL people to demonstrate our commitment to our customers.

Are you considering a new shaker, rocker, or other product for your lab? Contact MIDSCI today for a sample! Submit a request online, call us toll-free at 1 (800) 227-9997 or send an email to


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