Column Care Guide: How to Clean an HPLC Column Using Reverse Flush

Column care is exceptionally important in a lab, however, if not done properly can affect your column’s health. Cleaning your HPLC column might be simple, but it is exceptionally important to the efficiency, lifetime, and productivity of the instrument. An ineffective HPLC column can affect your analysis, resulting in inaccurate outcomes, which means more time spent on the same project.

The following video focusing solely on how to clean your HPLC column through reverse flushing. It might be time to flush your HPLC column when you’re seeing high back pressure, low efficiency, split peaks, or the most common issue, particulate build-up at the head of the column.

Reverse flushing helps with all those issues, especially for particulate build-up. To flush a column simply follow the steps below:

  1. Take out the column and seeing how the flow direction is currently moving.
  2. Go in the opposite direction at half the traditional flow rate that is currently being run on the column.
  3. Once the column is flipped and reinstalled on one end, you can begin running your system with cleaning solution, which can be found in our guide in the link below.
  4. Any particulates that are in your column, will be flushed out and caught by a beaker and not into the detector. Do this for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once it is done, go in the correct flow path, install the column, and run the prodigy test mix (also known as PTM) to confirm the efficiency and pressure is back to normal conditions.

Watch the video below for the full demonstration or check it out on YouTube:

To learn more about mobile phase limitations, column storage tips, and column protection devices download our free HPLC Column Care Guide found at

And if you have any more questions regarding how to best care for your column, run an analysis, or anything else pertaining to work, Phenomenex offers a free technical service through Live Chat, which enables you to talk with Technical Experts 24/7 around the world. They are able to help with almost any problem instantly.

Start chatting with them today at

If you found this article helpful or interesting, you might enjoy the ones below as well!

“Tips to Improve LC/MS Sensitivity in Your Lab”

“How to Improve Your UHPLC Column Selectivity”

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