Surface Decontamination

Keep your lab equipment and surfaces RNase-free with lab detergents and cleaning solutions

Bleaching. Ultraviolet treatment. Autoclaving. To the average molecular biologist, eliminating nuclease contamination, particularly ribonuclease (RNase) contamination, is a constant and somewhat annoying challenge. RNA is an especially sensitive and difficult analyte to work with, as it is readily degraded. Therefore, it is essential that labware, instruments, and surfaces involved in the purification of RNA are free from RNases. Even trace quantities of RNases can lead to lower yields from in vitro transcription reactions, degradation during RNA purification protocols, and variable results with qRT-PCR.

All surfaces, including benchtops, pipettes, glassware, and benchtop instruments, should be treated with a surface decontamination agent. We offer several surface decontamination products that are proven effective at eliminating RNase contamination from lab surfaces—RNaseZap Solution, RNaseZap Wipes, ElectroZap Solution, and RNase AWAY Reagent.

RNA basicsMaintaining an RNase-free lab

RNase decontamination solutions guide

Surface decontaminationRNaseZap Solution
  • Glass, plastic, and surface decontaminant
  • Minimizes RNase contamination
RNaseZap Wipes
  • Glass and plastic surface decontaminant in a towelette form
  • Minimizes RNase contamination
ElectroZap Solution
  • Noncorrosive cleaning solution
  • Formulated to decontaminate electrode surfaces
RNase AWAY Reagent
  • Nonabrasive, noncarcinogenic, and non–biologically corrosive surface decontamination agent
  • Minimizes both RNase and DNA contamination from labware

RNase lab decontamination solutions

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an especially sensitive and difficult molecule to work with because it is readily degraded. To help ensure success, steps must be taken to minimize nuclease contamination in RNA purification laboratories. Even trace quantities of RNase can lead to lower yields from in vitro transcription reactions, degradation during RNA purification protocols, and variable results with qRT-PCR.

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers several Ambion products in the RNaseZap family—RNaseZap Solution, RNaseZap Wipes, and ElectroZap Solution—that collectively provide a comprehensive approach to help ensure that work surfaces, pipettors, and equipment are RNase-free.

RNAseZap products offer:

  • Excellent decontamination of dried-on RNase A (Figure 1)
  • Better RNase A decontamination than competitive products (Figure 2)
Removal of dried-on RNase contamination
Figure 1. Removal of dried-on RNase contamination. A 5 µg sample of RNase A was vacuum-dried onto the bottom of two microfuge tubes. One tube was then rinsed with water, and one tube was rinsed with RNaseZap solution. Two micrograms of total RNA was added to each of the microcentrifuge tubes, incubated at 37°C for 30 min, and assessed on a 1.5% agarose gel.
Compare RNase contamination removal
Figure 2. Comparison of available cleaning products for the removal of RNase contamination. Mouse liver total RNA (2 µg) was added to microcentrifuge tubes pre-contaminated with RNase A and then cleaned with different commercially available RNase decontamination products: "a", "b", or RNaseZap solution. The tubes were then rinsed twice with water prior to the addition of the RNA  in 20 µL of TE. The samples were incubated at 37°C for 30 min. Ten microliters of each sample was resolved on a 1.5% agarose gel (TAE) and visualized on a UV light box.

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