we do lot of gram staining and some spore staining. we normally wash our slides with detergent then rinse in D/w, dry it and store it. But on reusing this slide we have to flame it and also clean it with alcohol number of times to make it grease free. also these reused slides have some sort of deposit which does not go with cleaning and evend oes not hamper our staining too. can anyone please suggest the best simple way to clean microscopic slide and to make it grease free and how to store it.

  • $\begingroup$ Whoa! Dint know we could reuse gram stained slides. I remember reusing slides last for plant sections. But recycling always seems to be a good thing :) $\endgroup$ – Polisetty Oct 13 '16 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ We were often suggested to simmer the slides in detergent water... whatever new or re-used. We often did it on Lab. (Because the slides we bought from market, contained something greasy so that watery film divided into beads). (We used Blue Star (TM) slides ) However, sometimes removal of greasy layer opens some minute scratch-marks so the slide looks slightly turbid. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Oct 13 '16 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ For permanent slides (in the slides library), if we use oil, we are required to dip the slides in xylene once were done. $\endgroup$ – Polisetty Oct 13 '16 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Polisetty I never cleaned slide with xylene but I doubt how-much evaporable it is. It was quite sticky and made the hand oily for long. Also, though some practical-instructions tell to clean the lens-oil with xylene; the xylene really did very bad to the oil-immersion lens (maybe it damaged the lens coatings or maybe it not removed properly). We usually cleaned the lens first with moist cotton cloth and then a dry one. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Oct 14 '16 at 6:51
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    $\begingroup$ @always confused. we too use blue star or himedia slides. i also have same issue after washing and drying the slides, on preparing smear it does not give smooth smear but beads like. will try simmering slides in detergent water and check. thanks $\endgroup$ – biotef Oct 15 '16 at 3:24

An old technique to clean used slides is to just toss them in a jar containing equal volumes of distilled water, ethyl alcohol 95% and xylene. Shake from time to time. When needed wipe them dry using a clean, lint free cloth and use.

The techique was at the time (1930's?) in use in the lab of prof. Baudet (Veterinary parasitologist, Utrecht University) and is mentioned in several editions of the "Précis de Microscopie" by Maurice Langeron.

Langeron mentioned that the slides treated that way were "perfectly grease-free".

Another method is to wash the slides, rinse in distilled water and store for some time in a mixture of ethyl alcohol and acetic acid.

When on a tight budget, used Carnoy fixative was (is?) used.

This is a trick that was (is?) in use at some botanical labs in Eastern Europe.

It's mentioned in some of the German literature on microtechnique, if memory serves me right in Braune, Leman and Taubert's "Pflanzenanatomisches Praktikum".


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