Liquids should never be transferred from one vessel to another, nor to a filter, without the aid of a stirring rod held firmly against the side or lip of the vessel. When the vessel is provided with a lip it is not usually necessary to use other means to prevent the loss of liquid by running down the side; whenever loss seems imminent a !very thin! layer of vaseline, applied with the finger to the edge of the vessel, will prevent it. The stirring rod down which the liquid runs should never be drawn upward in such a way as to allow the solution to collect on the under side of the rim or lip of a vessel.
The number of transfers of liquids from one vessel to another during an analysis should be as small as possible to avoid the risk of slight losses. Each vessel must, of course, be completely washed to insure the transfer of all material; but it should be remembered that this can be accomplished better by the use of successive small portions of wash-water (perhaps 5-10 cc.), if each wash-water is allowed to drain away for a few seconds, than by the addition of large amounts which unnecessarily increase the volume of the solutions, causing loss of time in subsequent filtrations or evaporations.
All stirring rods employed in quantitative analyses should be rounded at the ends by holding them in the flame of a burner until they begin to soften. If this is not done, the rods will scratch the inner surface of beakers, causing them to crack on subsequent heating.
The greatest care must be taken to prevent loss of solutions during processes of evaporation, either from too violent ebullition, from evaporation to dryness and spattering, or from the evolution of gas during the heating. In general, evaporation upon the steam bath is to be preferred to other methods on account of the impossibility of loss by spattering. If the steam baths are well protected from dust, solutions should be left without covers during evaporation; but solutions which are boiled upon the hot plate, or from which gases are escaping, should invariably be covered. In any case a watch-glass may be supported above the vessel by means of a glass triangle, or other similar device, and the danger of loss of material or contamination by dust thus be avoided. It is obvious that evaporation is promoted by the use of vessels which admit of the exposure of a broad surface to the air.
Liquids which contain suspended matter (precipitates) should always be cautiously heated, since the presence of the solid matter is frequently the occasion of violent “bumping,” with consequent risk to apparatus and analysis.