How to Create Your Own Science Lab in Your House

If you want to help your children appreciate science or simply love experimenting yourself, a home lab is a fun way to add more science to your life–as long as you follow common sense safety advice!

Choose Your Space Wisely

A well-ventilated space with enough room for your equipment, storage, and safety facilities is a must, regardless of the type of science you do. Proper lighting is also important to prevent costly and dangerous mistakes, take proper readings, and understand your projects. Windows can help with lighting and ventilation. The floor needs to be even without any trip hazards, including cords. Take the extra time to secure your cables out of the way. Choose a material that can handle spills and clean easily.

Give Everything a Place

Start with a sturdy table or workbench. The storage in the latter will be useful, but you can add storage if using a table. Like flooring, you want a surface that is durable and easy to clean. Stainless steel and expoy resin countertops are common in labs for this. All shelving should be secure and easy to reach safely. Anything kept in cabinets should have its own secure spot. Ensure you have enough storage space to separate items that might be hazardous–on their own or together. It should be impossible to mistake hazardous materials or hurt yourself on anything that is improperly stored.

Select the Appropriate Items

Your first materials should include safety gear such as a lab coat or smock (apron), which protects your skin and can be removed during a spill. Even if you’re only using kitchen ingredients, an apron might not offer protection from chemical combinations. Gloves and goggles are also common safety devices, as are masks. If you’re a serious hobby scientist, an eye wash station or safety shower and fume hood will protect you from unwanted consequences. A wash bottle is a fantastic, more affordable option if you cannot afford a sink. Paper towels are also an affordable convenience, and you can use them for some experiments!

Have Safety Equipment

You might also want a fire extinguisher, even if you won’t be working with heat or flames. Baking soda or fire blankets can help with grease or electrical fires, but you must keep a dry chemical agent, which comes in a chemical spill kit, stocked for chemical fires. Make sure to replace any safety equipment when you use it, and periodically check your fire extinguisher for pressure and fullness.

Stock Up on Supplies

The specific scientific equipment will depend on the type of science you want to do. Flasks, burners, and centrifuges might be necessary for chemistry, while slides and a microscope are better suited for biology. Of course, no one says you must limit yourself to one science, but if budget is a concern, start with one before branching out to another. Multipurpose equipment such as tongs, spatulas, brushes, and scales can be useful for various sciences as long as you properly clean them to avoid cross-contamination or reactions. Don’t forget about rulers, scissors, tape, and other common items that might be useful