Home Sources for Laboratory Supplies

Sources for Laboratory Supplies

Equipment and Chemical Kits

You can obtain the equipment and chemicals needed to do the experiments in Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments from many sources, but ordering piecemeal takes time and often costs more. We've arranged with Elemental Scientific, LLC to produce several kits at reasonable prices that contain exactly what you need to complete the experiments in the book.
  • Glassware Kit – contains the specialty laboratory glassware needed to complete the experiments in the book.
  • Equipment and Supplies Kit – contains the specialty laboratory hardware and supplies required to complete the experiments in the book, with the exception of a balance and a digital voltmeter, which must be ordered separately. Note that this kit also does not include splash goggles, gloves, or protective clothing, all of which must be sized properly and can be obtained from local sources or from on-line laboratory equipment vendors, including Elemental Scientific. It also does not include basic safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit, which can be obtained locally.
  • Basic Chemical Kit – contains chemicals that are required to complete the basic laboratory sessions in the book, but may be difficult to obtain locally. You will need to supplement the contents of this kit with numerous chemicals purchased locally from the supermarket, drugstore, hardware store, and so on.
  • Standard Chemical Kit – contains the same chemicals in the same quantities as the Basic Chemical Kit, plus additional chemicals that are available locally, but that you may prefer to order as a kit rather than buying piecemeal. You will need to supplement the contents of this kit only with chemicals readily available in most households, such as table salt, table sugar, vinegar, and so on.
  • Advanced Chemical Kit – contains the additional chemicals needed to complete the advanced laboratory sessions, with the exception of concentrated nitric acid, which must be obtained locally or ordered separately on-line. Purchase this kit (in addition to either the Basic Chemical Kit or the Standard Chemical Kit) if you plan to do all of the laboratory sessions in the book.
You can order any or all of these kits directly from Elemental Scientific by phone (920-882-1277) or email (info@elementalscientific.net) at the prices shown, which do not include shipping charges. Elemental Scientific will honor these prices until the end of 2008 even if there are price increases in the interim. Here are the contents of the kits, with the part number and price included in parentheses:

Glassware Kit (# SK 800, $99.00)
  • Beaker  50 ml
  • Beaker 150 ml  (3)
  • Beaker 250 ml
  • Beaker 600 ml
  • Wash bottle 500 ml
  • Burette 50 ml
  • Crucible w/cover
  • Graduated cylinder 10 ml
  • Graduated cylinder 100 ml
  • Evaporating dish
  • Flask Erlenmeyer 250 ml  (2)
  • Flask Erlenmeyer 500 ml
  • Flask volumetric 100 ml
  • Funnel
  • Pipette eye dropper glass  (3)
  • Pipette beral  (10)
  • Pipette mohr  1.0 ml
  • Pipette mohr  10.0 ml
  • Spot plate
  • Stirring rod  (3)
  • Capillary tubes  (12)
  • Test tubes  (12)
  • Glass tubing  5mm
  • Watchglass
Equipment & Supplies Kit (# SK 805, $121.00)
  • Alcohol burner                                                                                          
  • Burette brush
  • Test tube brush
  • Test leads with alligator clips  (6)
  • Burette clamp
  • Utility clamp
  • Electrode set 12 pc
  • Wire gauze w/ceramic center
  • LED red
  • Inoculating loop
  • Chromatography paper
  • Filter paper  50 sheets
  • Litmus paper red  100 strips
  • Litmus paper blue  100 strips
  • Test paper pH  100 strips
  • Pipette filler bulb
  • Ring stand
  • Ring support
  • Powder scoop
  • Spatula
  • Rubber stopper asst
  • Syringe  50ml w/cap
  • Test tube holder
  • Test tube rack
  • Thermometer
  • Beaker tongs
  • Crucible tongs
  • Triangle clay
  • Tubing asst
Basic Chemical Kit (# SK 810, $39.60)
  • Acetic acid glacial 100 ml (MSDS)
  • Aluminum turnings 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonium acetate 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonium chloride 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonium nitrate 40g (MSDS)
  • Charcoal activated 25g
  • Copper(II) sulfate
  • Oxalic acid 25g
  • Phenolphthalein powder 1g
  • Potassium permanganate 25g
  • Sodium acetate 25g
  • Sodium bisulfite 25g
  • Sodium carbonate 100g
  • Sodium hydroxide 100g
  • Sulfur  25g
  • Sulfuric acid 90% 100ml
Standard Chemical Kit (# SK 815  $64.90)
  • Acetic acid glacial 100 ml (MSDS)
  • Acetone 125 ml
  • Aluminum turnings 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonia aqueous 6M 125ml
  • Ammonium acetate 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonium chloride 25g (MSDS)
  • Ammonium nitrate 40g (MSDS)
  • Charcoal activated 25g
  • Copper (II) sulfate 250g
  • Glycerol 25 ml
  • Hydrochloric acid 30% 250 ml
  • Iron filings 25g
  • Iron shot 100g
  • Magnesium sulfate 50 g
  • Mineral oil 25ml
  • Oxalic acid 25g
  • Petroleum ether 100 ml
  • Phenolphthalein powder 1g
  • Potassium hydrogen tartrate 25g
  • Sodium acetate 25g
  • Sodium bicarbonate 50g
  • Sodium bisulfite 25g
  • Sodium borate 25g
  • Sodium carbonate 100g
  • Sodium hydroxide 100g
  • Starch 25g
  • Sulfur 25g
  • Sulfuric acid 90%  100ml
Advanced Chemical Kit (# SK 820  $96.80)
    • Aluminum nitrate 25g
    • Ammonia aqueous 15M  125ml
    • Ammonium molybdate 25g
    • Ammonium oxalate 25g
    • Barium chloride 10g
    • Barium hydroxide 10g
    • Barium nitrate 25g
    • Calcium nitrate 25g
    • Chloroform 25ml
    • Chromium (III) nitrate 50g
    • Cobalt (II) chloride 5g
    • Cobalt (II) nitrate 25g
    • Copper (II) nitrate 25g
    • Formaldehyde 37% 25ml
    • Iodine crystals 5g (see note)
    • Iron(III) nitrate 25g
    • Iron (II) sulfate 25g
    • Lead nitrate 50g
    • Manganese (II) sulfate 25g
    • Methanol 125ml
    • Nickel (II) nitrate 30g
    • Ninhydrin powder 1g
    • Potassium bromide 25g
    • Potassium chromate 25g
    • Potassium hexacyanoferrate (II) 25g
    • Potassium hexacyanoferrate (III) 25g
    • Potassium iodide 25g 50g (see note)
    • Potassium nitrate 25g
    • Potassium thiocyanate 25g
    • Silver nitrate 2.5g
    • Sodium nitrite 25g
    • Sodium phosphate tribasic 25g
    • Sodium sulfate 25g
    • Sodium sulfite 25g
    • Sodium thiosulfate 25g
    • Strontium nitrate 25g
    • Zinc metal mossy 25g
    • Zinc nitrate 25g
Note: In the book, we specify 5 g of iodine crystals and 25 g of potassium iodide. We've eliminated the iodine crystals from this kit because the DEA has made iodine crystals a List I chemical, which means buyers must fill out paperwork and show identification to purchase iodine crystals. As an alternative, we've increased the quantity of potassium iodide from 25g to 50g. You can isolate iodine crystals from potassium iodide using the simple reaction described here. The additional 25g of potassium iodide is sufficient to produce 15g or more of iodine crystals, depending on how carefully you work.


The only other major item needed for the chemistry lab is a decent balance, which will obviously also be useful for physics, biology, and forensics, and other sciences. I consider centigram (0.01 g) resolution the minimum acceptable for serious work, and a milligram (0.001 g) balance is better. Here are some good candidates for a balance:
You can also order equipment and chemicals separately from various vendors. Here are some suggested sources:

  • Elemental Scientific - very wide selection; student/student(+)/professional grades; g/vg/e prices
  • Home Science Tools - moderate selection; student/professional grades; g/vg prices
  • Indigo - wide selection; generally student(-) grade; vg/e prices, particularly in bulk
  • Science Kit - extremely wide selection; student(+)/professional grades; f/g/vg prices
  • United Nuclear - moderate selection; student/student(+) grade; g/vg prices


  • Elemental Scientific - very wide selection; mostly lab/USP grade, but some reagent grade; vg/e prices
  • Home Science Tools - wide selection; mostly lab grade or ungraded, but some reagent grade; f/g/vg prices
  • Science Kit - extremely wide selection; mostly lab or reagent grade; f/g/vg prices
  • United Nuclear - modest selection (mostly oxidizers/pyrotechnic); most reagent grade; f/g/vg prices
  • Readily Available Chemicals (alternative sources for many chemicals)

Copyright 2008 by Robert Bruce Thompson. All Rights Reserved.