Test tubes are open at the top and rounded at the bottom, and usually made of glass or plastic materials to mix, heat, and hold small quantities of chemicals for assays and laboratory experiments. They are also used to culture and handle various organisms, fluids, and samples. Some test tubes, such as those used in coagulation screens, contain prepared contents in hospitals, labs, and other medical facilities.
Corks are waterproof, fire retardant, quite flexible, which makes it a good insulator.
Stoppers prevent the spillage of chemicals and create an airtight seal to the test tube.
Before the fun of reusing such test tubes and corks, sterilizing them is equally very necessary as they come from a lab environment. Test tubes must be sterilized by wet steam heating like autoclaving, flaming, and baking the equipment in dry heat or by cleansing them with solvents like Ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol.
Now that the sterilization is complete, here are five useful ways in which you can reuse test tubes and corks.
- Test Tube Christmas Lights
Test tubes & Corks can help create a great alternative to Christmas decorations. Create a hole into the cork and insert a bright LED into the cork and fill the test tube with a crumpled coloured cellophane sheet and seal the test tube with the cork, do it for the successive LED lights connected by wires. You can string a bunch together end to end and Voila! You have successfully created a set of lab-made Christmas decoration lights.
- Test Tube Flower Vases
Test tubes also make for great flower vases. All you need to do is create a hole into the cork, insert the short stem of the flower through the cork, fill the test tube with water halfway and finally insert the cork into the test tube. Now your favourite flower can flourish for days.
- Coffee Bean Holders
For all the coffee aficionados who are very selective about their coffee beans can create a personal day-wise coffee beans storage. Since each test tube can hold the exact amount of beans, this is one way to ensure that every cup tastes the same while sealing the test tube with cork for an airtight fit to preserve the distinction of a fine bean & roast. They also provide an elegant presentation to your kitchen.
- Test Tube Spice Holder
To preserve the spices, you can create a personal spice rack in your kitchen, where a test tube holder is designed to be wall-mounted or kept in your kitchen platforms and test tubes are filled with spices and sealed airtight with the cork to preserve the spices. Note to add rubber washers to support the test tubes in their holes.
- Cork as a Knife Holder and Cleaning Tool
Glue several corks together, side by side. Make slits in the top, and put your cork creation into your knife drawer. Store the knives blade-down in the cork slits, and they will stay sharp much longer. Corks are also a great alternative to an abrasive pad for cleaning kitchen knives. You can add a dash of cleanser and clean up with a cork.
We hope these tips help you in sustainably reusing the corks and test tubes in more creative and useful ways!