9 Versatile Uses for Vials: Inside and Outside the Laboratory

Vials are small plastic or glass containers that are used in a wide variety of situations. Although they are routinely used in laboratory settings, the convenient size of typical vials have allowed people to improvise on what they can store in them. Depending on the kind, even food can fit inside one!

Whether you have vials you don’t know what to do with or need a small container for something you want to store, this article will surely help anyone learn more about the huge potential of vials as small containers.

Laboratory Uses

Small containers are especially important in laboratories, where scientists and researchers need sterile vessels to store samples. Moreover, because a laboratory analysis generally only requires a small sample, a vial is the perfect choice of storage.

Medical Field

The most common undertaking in medical laboratories involves diagnoses, where specimens or samples are collected from people and stored in individual vials. Laboratory scientists then study the specimens to gain necessary information in identifying illnesses or diseases in patients.

Forensic Field

Similar to medical laboratories, forensic laboratories also collect samples, but these are collected from crime scenes. Hence, the samples are not limited to organic specimens. Moreover, the main purpose of collection is not for diagnoses, but for preserving pieces of evidence.

Aside from evidence storage, forensic sciences also use vials to collect and study insects whose growing processes could help in gaining more information on the temporal and corporeal aspects involved in crime.

Medicinal Uses

Outside the laboratory, people have made use of vials in storing medicinal drugs and substances for personal use. This can be for various reasons, including convenience and consumption control.

Medicinal Drugs

Often, medicines can come in big containers that can be too heavy to carry on some occasions. Moreover, the lack of division within the large container can cause difficulty in compliance with the recommended dose, which can either underdose or overdose a person, a common occurrence among the elderly.

Fortunately, smaller vials can help with these problems, enabling people to carry with them only the amount they need for a period. Moreover, pill organizers come in multiple vials that make medication intake easier to track.

Medicinal Substances

Like medicinal drugs, medicinal substances such as ointments, contact lens solutions, hand sanitizers, and others can be stored separately from their original containers into smaller vials. This allows convenience that original containers would otherwise deprive.

Cosmetic Uses

Cosmetic products usually come in containers that carry variations of a product in one. Hence, some cosmetics are too expensive to sample for free or are too bulky to carry outside, where people need small amounts for retouching makeup looks.

Sample Products

In cosmetics, brands give away sample products as a way to promote a recent launch. Due to this, most store outlets usually have one item of a product open for free sampling. However, this can be expensive, especially if the free samples need to be distributed to individuals.

It is impractical to give away one whole product to a person just for testing purposes. To address this issue, companies use vials to store a portion of a product so that recipients of the samples get enough for single use.

Travel-Size Containers

Makeup products can look good on the skin only for so long, which is why many people retouch makeup looks during the day. Though, bringing all the containers of the makeup products used is pretty illogical. With smaller vials, people can bring along only the needed amounts to fit even in the smallest purse.

Liquid Substances

Smaller vials are perfect for smelling good throughout the day without requiring you to bring the whole perfume or cologne bottle. You can even bring different vials for different scents, to fit whatever unexpected occasion you might end up in. What’s more, you can also avoid the risk of breaking and spilling an entire bottle from accidentally dropping them.

Food Uses

What’s better than food itself? Of course, food items you can bring along without difficulty. With its practical size options, vials are perfect for storing food that you can snack on from time to time, or even ingredients that you might prefer to have in most meals.


During time-consuming activities, having a snack ready and convenient to eat can be very helpful. Vials are handy because you can easily store dried berries, nuts, cereal, candies, and other snacks that you can nibble on during long road trips.


Similarly, you can bring a vial with an herb of your choice inside for when you eat food that might need a boost of flavoring. For example, if you want all things spicy, you can keep a small bottle filled with your favorite chili powder to bring out when your food isn’t spicy enough.


Due to their small size, vials are often used as alternative containers in a wide range of settings, whether it be for scientific purposes or for everyday life convenience. Their benefits cater to many needs and therefore are far from becoming obsolete.