Re: old slides

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From:Yvan Lindekens <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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In my opinion the best way to remove coverslips from old slides is by
soaking in xylene or toluene untill the coverslip comes off without

This can take a few days, but the process can be speeded up by soaking in
xylene or toluene in a tightly closed jar at about 40C...

Long storage in xylene, even when slightly acidic, isn't a problem as the
colorability of the sections can usualy be restored by soaking in:

* hydrogen peroxide 3% for 30 min, or, better
* 10% solution of benzoylperoxide in aceton for 15 min.

I didn't have much luck with heating slides over a bunsenburner and
"sliding off" coverslips...

Celloidizing the sections prior to restaining is a good idea...

Fading of H&E staining can be (more or less) prevented by

* decent washing after staining
* "bluing" in a solution of known composition
* second "bluing" step in ammonia vapour for a few seconds, the H stain
turns into a nice dark blue
* dehydration in solutions of good quality
* the use of good (neutral) mountant
* good storage conditions of the slides

The use of "slightly alkaline mountants" is a good idea, but keep in mind
that some other stains tend to fade very fast in alkaline mountants
(malachite green oxalate, acid fuchsin...).

Yvan Lindekens.

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